James S. Ewing
JAMES S. EWING
During the course of a long pro-
fessional life, I have had occasion to
deliver quite a number of addresses on
a variety of subjects. From this num-
ber, I have selected a few which are
contained in this little book. It is
intended for private distribution. My
excuse for this modest attempt at
authorship is the natural wish that,
if I have said anything worth re-
membering, it may have a chance to
live for a time, and that, amongst the
people I love best.
JAMES S. EWING
Digitized by tlie Internet Arclnive
in 2011 witli funding from
Tine Institute of Museum and Library Services through an Indiana State Library LSTA Grant
AN ADDRESS ON ABRAHAM LINCOLN
At the State Convention of School Teachers Held in Bloomington,
Illinois, February 12, A. D. 1909
During the years 1844 and 1845 my father, Mr.
John W. Ewing, was the proprietor of the old Na-
tional Hotel on Front Street in this city.
At that time Circuit Courts were held in McLean
County twice a year and there were a number of law-
yers from other counties who usually attended these
Amongst those whom I especially remember as
coming from Springfield and who were guests at my
father's house, were Mr. James McDougal, Mr. John
T. Stuart and Mr. Lincoln.
I thus became acquainted with Mr. Lincoln and I
continued to know him, as a boy knows a distinguished
man whom he often meets, until i860 when he was
elected President of the United States.
Mr. Lincoln was fond of children, at least he
knew many of the boys and girls of the village, the
children of his older friends, and often talked to them
and expressed an interest in their welfare. They liked
Mr. Lincoln and most of the boys in the town knew
him and many of them talked to him, as we all
thought, on most intimate terms.
In 1844, Mr. Lincoln was thirty-five years of age,
in the very prime of his younger manhood, and dur-
ing the following fifteen years (except one term of
service in Congress) he "traveled the Circuit," devot-
ing most of his time to the practice of the law.
When I first knew anything of Courts, Hon.
Samuel H. Treat was the presiding Judge of this Cir-
cuit. He was appointed to the Federal bench and the
Hon. David Davis became his successor and continued
as the Circuit Judge until appointed by Mr. Lincoln
as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the
United States. It was then the habit for such lawyers
as possessed sufficient experience and ability to attract
a clientage, to follow the Court around the Circuit.
Mr. Lincoln was of this number and more than per-
haps any other, was most constant and unremitting
in his attendance.
During these fifteen years, I heard Mr. Lincoln
try a great many law suits. The suits themselves often
dealt with trivial matters, but great men were en-
gaged in them. Mr. Lincoln was engaged in most
suits of any importance. He was wonderfully suc-
cessful. He was a master in all that went to make
up what is called a "jury lawyer." His wonderful
power of clear and logical statement seemed the be-
ginning and the end of the case. After his statement
of the law and the facts in any particular case, we
wondered either how the plaintiff came to bring such a
suit, or how the defendant could be such a fool as to
By the time the jury was selected, each member of
it felt that the great lawyer was his friend and was
relying upon him, as a juror, to see that no injustice
was done. Mr. Lincoln's ready, homely, but always
pertinent illustrations, incidents and anecdotes, could
not be resisted.
Few men ever lived who knew, as he did, the main
springs of action, secret motives, the passions, prej-
udices and inclinations which inspired the actions of
men and he played on the human heart as a master on
This power over a jury was, however, the least
of his claims to be entitled a good lawyer. He was
masterful in a legal argument before the Court. His
knowledge of the general principles of the law was ex-
tensive and accurate, and his mind was so clear and
logical that he seldom made a mistake in their appli-
Courteous to the court, fair to his opponent and
modest in his assertions, he was certainly the model
As for myself, I decided I would be a lawyer; and
that I would be just such a lawyer as Mr. Lincoln
was. Well! As a matter of fact, I didn't become just
such a lawyer. My failure in that regard, to my
friends was a regret rather than a surprise.
I was like my friend, Mr. Ed Gridley, who had
been to hear Bishop Spalding preach, and inspired by
the eloquence of the great preacher, imparted to me in
confidence, that "if he had his life to live over, he
would be a bishop."
While my great ambition fell so far short of realiz-
ation, yet of one thing I am sure, success was very
much nearer by reason of the high ideal. I believe
that every young lawyer then at the Bloomington bar
became a better lawyer because of Mr. Lincoln's
I heard Mr. Lincoln make a number of political
speeches. I heard his speech in the old Court House
in 1854 on the Kansas and Nebraska bill in answer to
Mr. Douglas on the same subject a few days before.
In this speech what impressed me most was that
same wonderful power of statement to which I have
before referred. I can never forget the manner in
which he stated the causes and events which led up
to the enactment of the Missouri Compromise, just
what it was and how it affected the question of slavery ;
the history of the events and causes which led to the
passage of the Compromise of 1850, its constituent
elements; just what the south got and just what the
north got by it and how it was affected by the repeal
of the other Compromise bill.
It seems to me I could almost repeat those state-
ments today after a half century, so vivid was their
I heard his speech in the Major Hall Convention
in May, 1856, spoken of sometimes as the "lost
speech." But this speech did not impress me as the
one of two years before, possibly because it was only
one of several great speeches by other great orators :
Owen Lovejoy, O. H. Browning, John M. Palmer,
Archibald Williams, T. Lysle Dickey, Norton, Grid-
ley, Farnsworth, and others, who took an active part in
that historic convention.
In 1854, Judge Stephen A. Douglas came to Bloom-
ington to make a speech defending the principles of
the Kansas and Nebraska bill.
Judge Lawrence Weldon, who was then a young
lawyer at Clinton, and who had come up to hear the
speech, went with Mr. Stevenson and myself to call
upon and pay our respects to the "Little Giant.' ' We
were presented to Judge Douglas by Mr. Anzi Mc-
Williams, then a prominent Democratic lawyer of this
After we had been in Mr. Douglas' room a few
minutes, Mr. Lincoln came in and the Senator and he
greeted each other most cordially as old friends, and
then Mr. Douglas introduced Mr. Lincoln to Judge
Weldon. He said : "Mr. Lincoln, I want to introduce
you to Mr. Weldon, a young lawyer who has come to
Illinois from Ohio and has located at Clinton." Mr,
Lincoln said, "Well, I'm glad of that. I go to Clin-
ton sometimes myself and we will get acquainted."
This was the beginning of an acquaintance which
ripened into a strong friendship and which, founded
on mutual admiration and respect, grew and strength-
ened as the years passed, and ended only in death.
They met again at Clinton, a sort of local partnership
was formed, they tried law suits and rode the Circuit
together. Judge Weldon was the active promoter of
Mr. Lincoln's political interests, and was an elector in
the campaign of i860. I doubt if any man living
knew Mr. Lincoln better, or had in a greater degree
his confidence than our distinguished friend and citi-
zen. Judge Lawrence Weldon.
In view of the recent controversy as to Mr. Lin-
coln's temperance principles, as to whether he was a
"wine bibber" or the "president of a temperance so-
ciety," the following incident may be of interest.
At this same meeting, I heard Mr. Lincoln de-
fine his position on the liquor question. This is au-
thentic as coming from Mr. Lincoln himself and ought
to settle this question forever, but it won't. The con-
troversy will go on like the brook "forever" until each
side convinces itself. This meeting I am speaking of,
being a Democratic meeting, the committee had placed
on the sideboard of Judge Douglas' room (probably
without his knowledge) a pitcher of water, some
glasses and a decanter of red liquor. As visitors
called, they were invited to partake, most of the Dem-
When Mr. Lincoln arose to go, Mr. Douglas said,
"Mr. Lincoln, won^t you take something?" Mr. Lin-
coln said, "No, I think not." Mr. Douglas said,
"What, are you a member of the Temperance So-
ciety?" "No," said Mr. Lincoln, "I am not a member
of any temperance society, but I am temperate, in
this, that I don't drink anything."
At the same meeting another incident occurred
which I wish to relate.
One of the visitors who came in to call on Senator
Douglas was the Hon. Jesse W. Fell. He was an old
friend and had known Douglas when he first came to
the state. I remember very well their cordial meet-
ing and recall clearly a part of their conversation.
After talking a while of old times and mutual friends,
Mr. Fell said, "Judge Douglas, many of Mr. Lincoln's
friends would be greatly pleased to hear a joint dis-
cussion between you and him on these new and im-
portant questions now interesting the people, and I
would be glad if such a discussion could be arranged."
Mr. Douglas seemed annoyed, and after hesitating
a moment, said, "No! I won't do it! I come to Chi-
cago, I am met by an old line Abolitionist; I come
down to the center of the state and I am met by an
old line Whig; I go to the south end of the state and
I am met by a pro-Slavery Democrat; I can't hold
the Abolitionist responsible for what the Whig says!
I can't hold the Whig responsible for what the Aboli-
tionist says, and I can't hold either responsible for
what the Democrat says; it looks like dogging a man
over the state."
"This is my meeting, the people have come to hear
me and I want to talk to them." Mr. Fell said, "Well,
Judge, you may be right, perhaps some other time it
can be arranged."
I have told this incident for a purpose.
Mr. Fell never gave up this idea of a joint dis-
cussion. He was the first man to suggest it. From
1854 to 1858 he continued to urge it and to Mr, Jesse
W, Fell, more than to any other man, is due the credit
of suggesting and bringing about those great debates,
the influence of which upon Mr. Lincoln's fortunes,
the events of history and the fate of the nation, no
man is wise enough to know.
Mr. Fell was the intimate, devoted and zvise friend
of Mr. Lincoln. I speak with some knowledge and
with perfect sincerity when I say that with the possi-
ble exception of the Hon. David Davis, Mr. Fell did
more than any other man, now living or dead, to secure
the nomination of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency.
Mr. Fell was one of our citizens. He was Bloom-
ington's first lawyer. His life was a benefaction to
this community. I am pleased to take advantage of
this opportunity to connect his name with the name
of the man he helped and to pay a modest tribute to
one of the best men who ever lived.
In the late fall of i860, I met Mr. Lincoln on the
sidewalk in front of the old Court House. He had
come from Springfield to arrange some old suits in
view of his departure for Washington. He shook
hands with me and said, "Well, you have gotten to
be a lawyer ; let me give you some advice. Don't med-
dle with politics, stick to the law."
I replied, "Mr. President, I fear your example
may prove more alluring than your advice."
"No! No!" said he. "That was an accident." He
passed into the Court House and that was the last
time I ever saw him.
Personal reminiscence must be confined to a time
prior to i860. The four years following, belong to the
history of the world.
This is the time of the making of many books, the
writing of many histories, biographies, short and long
sketches in magazines and newspapers, critiques and
tributes, memoirs, stories, anecdotes and lies about Mr.
There are books by "His Private Secretary," by
the "Man Who Knew Lincoln," by lots of men and
women "Who Didn't Know Him," by a "Member of
the New York Bar," by members of other bars, by
editors, school masters and preachers, by "Butchers
Bakers and Candle-stick Makers," by "Old Neighbors,"
and by "Old Clients." About "Lincoln, as a Boy,"
"Lincoln the Man," "Lincoln, the Soldier," "Lincoln,
the Lawyer," "Lincoln, the Story Teller," "Lincoln,
the Lover," "Lincoln the Dreamer," "Lincoln, the
Farmer," the "Wood Chopper" and the "Foot Racer."
There will be delivered this 12th day of February,
1909, more than fifty thousand speeches, addresses,
orations and memorials which will help to swell this
Lincolnian literary melange to the proportions of an
It would be strange indeed, in view of the many
authors, the variety of publications and the character
of the subjects, if there should not be found an im-
mense amount of misrepresentation, false history, in-
ABRAHAM LINCOLN 13
accurate estimates, false narratives, tiresome repeti-
tions, sentimental pathos, and silly white lies.
Old Dr. Johnson, when Boswell told him he "in-
tended to write his life,'^ said, "If I believed you, /
would take yours."
If Mr. Lincoln had been told what some of his
friends intended to do, he would have said with David,
"Oh ! that mine enemy would write a book."
The trouble is that men who never saw Mr. Lin-
coln and who have no adequate conception of his life
and character, have revived old stories, incidents, tra-
ditions, second-hand anecdotes and have rushed into
print to make history.
Others even manufacture goody-goody lies to in-
crease his reputation. Others write of him as a
slouch, a buffoon, an uneducated gawk, to increase
the wonder of his career. Others tell of artful prac-
tices and doubtful tricks, to demonstrate his shrewd-
ness. Others recite sentimental and impossible rescues
and charities, which put old Santa Claus to shame.
One old citizen tells of a wonderful conversation he
had with Mr. Lincoln at the time of the Douglas and
Lincoln debate at Bloomington, a debate which never
A reverend gentleman tells how an actor friend of
his was invited by Mr. Lincoln to "stay all night" with
him at the White House during the war; how they
talked until midnight and how Mr. Lincoln told him
all the secrets of the war; how when they had retired,
the actor heard some one apparently in great distress ;
how he got up and wandered about the halls until he
found Mr. Lincoln's private bedroom, and looking
through the keyhole, saw Mr. Lincoln on his knees,
agonizing in prayer, etc. I suppose this preacher be-
lieved that proving Mr. Lincoln a saint, justified him in
proving his friend a liar and a sneak.
Another one of these stories is how Mr. Lincoln
manufactured an almanac and introduced it in evidence
to confound a witness who had sworn that a certain
night was moonlight when the manufactured almanac
showed it was the dark of the moon, thus saving his
This story is repeated in Mr. Churchill's book,
*'The Crisis, " and even in school books. No one who
knew Mr. Lincoln could think of him perpetrating a
forgery and practicing upon the court a trick of which
only a pettifogger could conceive.
Another "friend" of Mr. Lincoln tells how he ac-
companied him to Washington from Springfield in
1 86 1 and how the President "kept the entire company
in constant roars of laughter" by telling questionable
stories and jokes. It is probable this fellow was not
on the train at all.
I think there have been more lies told about Mr.
Lincoln than about Santa Claus. A curious thing is
that they are not usually malicious, but mostly told by
mistaken friends and for good purposes. They are
^'white lies," but I fear unlike that of Uncle Toby and
the loving lie of Desdemona, they will never be blotted
out by the tears of the Recording Angel.
You and I can do little to stem this literary flood,
but we can thank God that the subject of it is safe in
the Pantheon, beyond the domain of human praise,
blame or stupidity.
Mr. Lincoln dressed as well as the average law-
yer of his day. I do not think he gave much time to
ABRAHAM LINCOLN 15
the tying of his necktie and he could not have been
said, by his best friend, to have been much of a dude,
but he was always respectably clothed.
Mr. Lincoln was not a "story teller" in the sense
of "swapping stories," or telling a story for the story
itself. He was possessed of great humor and a won-
derfully acute sense of the ridculous, that marvelous
"gift of the gods" which we sometimes call the "sixth
sense." Unexpected situations, curious expressions,
odd sayings, unusual appearances and humorous ac-
tions made an impression on him. He remembered
and often used them as illustrations. He seldom, if
ever, told a story except to illustrate his speech or
argument. And in this kind of illustration, no man
was more apt. A few minutes after the voting in the
Legislature in 1858, when Mr. Douglas was elected
Senator, Mr. Lincoln was asked by a friend, "How do
you feel ?" Said he, "I feel like the boy who stumped
his toe; I am too big to cry, and too badly hurt to
Hon. Ezra M. Prince told the following story :
After the adjournment of the Major Hall conven-
tion, the Republican editors of Illinois met in con-
vention at Bloomington. Mr. Lincoln attended and
was invited to address the meeting. He said he "was
afraid he was out of his place. He was not an editor
and had no business there. In fact he was an inter-
He said, "I feel like I once did when I met a
woman riding horseback in the woods. As I stopped
to let her pass, she also stopped and looking at me in-
tently, said, "I do believe you are the ugliest man I
ever saw !" Said I, 'Madam ! you are probably right.
but I can't help it!' *No!' said she, 'you can't help it!
But you might stay at home!' "
Hon. John B. Henderson (who was a Senator
from Missouri during the war), told the following
story as showing how Mr. Lincoln could illustrate a
situation by an incident.
He said he was at the White House talking with
Mr. Lincoln, It was at a time when great pressure
was being brought upon the President by certain radi-
cal members to induce him to issue an Emancipation
Proclamation. Mr. Lincoln had been telling Mr. Hen-
derson of his troubles in that regard. He did not
think the time was ripe and was very much annoyed
at the persistence of three men whom he named —
Senators Wade, Sumner and Stevens. All at once
Mr. Lincoln said, "Henderson!" "did you ever attend
an old field school ?" "Yes !" said the senator. "Well, "
said Mr. Lincoln, "I did, and a funny thing occurred
"You know we had no reading books and we read
out of the Bible. The class would stand up in a row,
the teacher in front of them and read verses turn about.
"This day we were reading about the Hebrew
children. As none of us were very good readers, we
were in the habit of counting ahead and each one
practicing on his particular verse. Standing next to
me was a red-headed, freckled-faced boy, who was the
poorest reader in the class. It so fell out that the
names of the Hebrew children appeared in his verse.
He managed to worry through Meschac, fell down at
Shadrach, and went all to pieces at Ahednego. The
reading went on and in due course of time came round
again, but when the turn came near enough for the
boy to see his verse, he pointed to it in great consterna-
ABRAHAM LINCOLN 17
tion, and whispered to me, 'Look ! There's them three
d — d fellows again.'
"And there," said Mr. Lincoln (pointing out of the
window), come those three same fellows." And sure
enough, there were Wade, Stevens and Sumner com-
ing up the walk.
Mr. Henderson added, "As I arose to take my de-
parture, and the other gentlemen entered, there was a
smile on Mr. Lincoln's face, as if his thoughts had
flown away, over all the years, from war and trouble,
to the old field school in the forests of Indiana."
No one called Mr. Lincoln "Abe," Judge Davis,
General Gridley, Mr, Isaac Funk, Mr, Fell, Leonard
Swett, Gen. William Ward Orme, Lawrence Weldon,
William McCullough, Judge Treat, John T. Stuart,
OwenT. Reeves, Reuben M. Benjamin and Wm. H.
Hanna, all of them Mr. Lincoln's early friends and
associates, and all of them elegant and dignified gen-
tlemen, invariably addressed him as "Mr. Lincoln."
It was always Mr. Clay, Mr. Webster, Mr. Lincoln.
NOT A NEW MAN.
It is a mistake to think of Mr. Lincoln as an or-
dinary man even from the first.
In 1844 he was a lawyer of state reputation, nine
years before he was in the legislature where he met
such men as Douglas, McClernard, Browning, Eben-
ezar Peck, Robert Blackwell, Joseph Gillespie and
Judge Purple ; these were great men and he was never
dwarfed in their presence. I have spoken of the men
with whom he associated and acted in our city. He
was always easily the leader, he was the talker. Every-
body deferred to Mr. Lincoln ; he had the center of the
stage by common consent.
He knew more of the matter in hand. He thought
more, he was a better talker and was a natural leader
When elected to the Presidency, he did not select
for his advisor his private secretary and other un-
known men, but William H. Seward, Edward Bates,
Salmon P. Chase, all of whom had been prominent
candidates in the Republican party for the Presiden-
tial nomination, and to these were added other dis-
tinguished and leading men who constituted his cab-
inet. He did not fear to be overshadowed, and he
From the first he was the equal of any of them
and in Washington as in Bloomington he was inter
It is a mistake to think of Mr. Lincoln as an un-
educated man. The "Kindergarten" and "Primary"
courses were taken in a Kentucky cabin with his
mother as "principal." Possibly he never learned at
this school to make mats, but he did learn "Manners
At the age of nine, he entered the Academy to
prepare for College. This "School of Learning" was
located in a "clearing" on his father's farm, a "little
house in the woods," in the State of Indiana. Here
his attention was first directed to "physical culture."
This study he was not permitted to neglect.
"The Gymnasium" was well furnished with "appar-
atus," axes, wedges, mauls, log chains, cross bars
swinging saplings etc.
Then came "Nature Studies." Out on the
"Campus" he found spring beauties and sweet wil-
Hams, May apples and purple grapes, and out beyond,
the prairie grasses and the wild rose. From these,
from tree, shrub and plant, from form, color and per-
fume, came that sense of beauty embodied in those
exquisite prose poems which we so much love to read.
This branch of study included zoology.
He learned the names of animals, their nature,
habits, instincts, history and language. He knew when
the birds mated and how they builded their homes.
And he learned well the only lesson worth learning
from this science — to be kind and gentle to all animal
He had lessons in "Political Economy," the value
of money ; supply and demand ; the virtue of economy ;
the proper sources of wealth, the lessons of necessity
and the value of labor.
He closed his academic course at the age of 21,
with the honors of his class, and entered the univer-
He studied mathematics, became a surveyor and
a naval architect. He became a great linguist and his
success was all the greater in that he confined himself
to one language.
He devoted himself so diligently to the study of
history that he learned how to make history.
He was a past master in the department of belles-
lettres. He read the great epics of Homer, Virgil,
Tasso and Milton. He read and re-read Shakespeare
and Burns. He studied the best English classics and
that wonderful volume of Hebrew literature, the Bible.
The result of these "Language Studies" is the
purest English ever written.
Rhetoric and Logic came easy. He was a philoso-
pher by nature. "Civil Government' ' he learned under
Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton.
He took a post graduate course in the law under
Professors Blackstone and Chitty and from this de-
partment, as from the University and the Academy,
he carried away all honors and was the Valedictorian
of his class.
And yet there are pseudo historians and pretentious
literati who speak of Mr. Lincoln as illiterate and un-
I say, "He was the best educated man of his day,
if the best education means the best equipment for the
duties of life."
NGN FILIUS DEI.
There are a great many good Americans who are
not exactly satisfied with Mr. Lincoln's ancestry. They
can stand his poverty alright, that could be remedied,
but a great man ought to have not only a father and
a mother but several grandfathers. In that marvelous
transition from poverty to affluence, from a cabin to
the White House, from obscurity to fame, the aching
void is the want of ancestry.
Mr. Lincoln, in his Autobiography, gives the fol-
lowing account of his family :
"I was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County,
Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia of
undistinguished families, second families, perhaps, I
should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year,
was of a family of the name of Hanks, some of whom
now reside in Adams, and others in Macon County,
Illinois. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln,
emigrated from Rockington County, Virginia, to Ken-
ABRAHAM LINCOLN 21
tucky, about 1781 or 1782, where, a year or two later,
he was killed by Indians, not in battle, but by stealth,
when he was laboring to open a farm in the forest.
His ancestors, who were Quakers, went to Virginia
from Berk's County, Pennsylvania. An effort to
identify them with the New England family of the
same name ended in nothing more definite than a
similarity of Christian names in both families."
But this modest account, splendid in its simplicity,
is by no means satisfying to the inquirers after a
Since we have known anything of the history of
the human race there has been traceable a disposition
to make of the hero a demigod. Achilles, the son of
Pelias, was also the son of Thetis. Alexander, after
he had conquered a world, was the son of Hercules.
Julius Caesar became a descendant of Aeneas, who had
a goddess for his mother. Moses no longer has a
Hebrew mother, but is the son of the Pharos. This
is only the symbolism of that disposition of human na-
ture to account for great men and great achievements
by greatness of birth.
But there is hope! I bring you good. news! Mr.
Lincoln's ancestors have been discovered!
Two "distinguished genealogists," one an Ameri-
can and one an Englishman, have for years been col-
laborating to trace the ancestry of the great President
to his English forbears, through colleges of heraldry
and the records of Courts of Chancery for many gen-
erations. They have made many wonderful discover-
The result of these genealogical labors is a book
(I quote from the publishers) "which is a fine example
of sound genealogical research, and is now offered at
this centenary of Lincoln's birth" to a waiting pub-
lic; "with elaborate tables, copious appendices, richly
illustrated and including ''A Defense of Thomas Lin-
coln" in one octavo volume at $10.00 net."
Mr. Lincoln has written it all in twelve lines.
These "distinguished genealogists require an oc-
Which do you like the better?
Seriously, is it not strange and is it not deplorable
that an intelligent American could believe that Saxon
or Norman lineage could add anything to the fame of
a man whose presence already fills the world?
If his birth was lowly, his deeds are royal in that
land which men call fame.
We are all hero worshippers, and often when our
heroes are above the clouds, we build unto ourselves
graven images. Sometimes, their crowns are only
of tinsel, and are so easily tarnished. Sometimes their
halos are only of paper and are so fragile.
Men will differ as to the chief foundation of Mr.
Lincoln's fame but there will be no difference as to
its being real and lasting. Some day the true his-
torian will appear. Some day out of all this rubbish
and jungle of inconsistencies the true history will be
Some day, when the rugged proportions of this
great historic figure by time and distance have been
rounded into form, the real man will be known.
Then, I think, we will come to realize that in the
history of a great man, chance is not sO' much a fac-
tor as Providence.
Then we will understand better and appreciate
more how priceless was our heritage, and although
given to the ages, "it was not taken from us."
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY'
On the Occasion of the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of
the Organization of Bloomington, Illinois, into a City.
Delivered Thursday, May 10, 1900
Saint Paul, in Jerusalem, was accused by certain
of the Jews. They said, "he was a pestilent fellow,
a stirrer-up of sedition, a ring-leader of the sect of
the Nazarenes, a follower of one Jesus, who is now
dead, but he says he is alive." The Chief Captain
seemed to recognize him as an Egyptian murderer;
but Paul said, "I am a Jew, of Tarsus, in Cilicia,
"A Citizen of no Mean City."
This claim of citizenship did not seem to be suffi-
cient, for they bound him, and ordered him to be
scourged. But Paul said to a Centurion that stood by,
"Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman,
and uncondemned "
When the Centurion heard that, he went unto the
Chief Captain, and said, "Take heed what thou doest;
for this man is a Roman!''
Then the following conversation took place:
"Tell me! art thou a Roman?" Paul said, "Yes."
And the Chief Captain answered, "With a great sum
obtained I this freedom;" but Paul said, "I was free
The Chief Captain decided he had no jurisdiction,
and that a Roman citizen could not be tried under the
Jewish law. So he sent Paul to Csesarea, to be tried
by a Roman Governor.
And between Paul and this Roman Governor oc-
curred another remarkable conversation.
Paul said, "Neither against the law, neither against
the temple, nor yet against Caesar have I offended
anything at all."
Festus said, "Wilt thou then go up to Jerusalem,
there to be judged of these things?"
Then said Paul, "I stand at Caesar's judgment seat,
where I ought to be judged. I appeal unto Caesar."
And when the Jews again demanded the death of
Paul, this Governor said :
"It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver
any man to die, before that he which is accused have
the accusers face to face, and have license to answer
for himself concerning the crime laid against him."
Rome had been a republic for 500 years, and her
liberties had not yet been lost in the glory of her con-
quests; but from the Clyde to the Euphrates, and in
all her provinces on either side of the Mediterranean,
as well in Tarsus as at Rome, the aegis of her laws
covered and protected her citizens.
This was a marvelous inheritance! Paul had not
"bought it with a great sum," but it came to him as a
birthright ; and we do not wonder that with pride and
confidence he declared he "Was a Citizen of No
Many things have happened in the nineteen cen-
turies since this exultant declaration of citizenship.
Kingdoms and Empires have risen and fallen ; Repub-
lics have been born, baptized in blood, and gone down
to death in their greed for gold and glory. Revolu-
tions have swept over the earth and chaos reigned for
a thousand years. And yet, through all this long
night, through all these plots and counterplots, the
spirit of human liberty has survived, and somehow
bridging over the waste places of history, enables us to
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 25
say tonight, with the same pride and the same con-
fidence as did Paul in Csesarea, "I am a Citizen oe
No Mean City."
This citizenship is our inheritance! not "bought
with a great sum," but a free gift from our fathers
who say to us in spirit, tonight, "Take it ! and be
The city of Bloomington is fifty years old today.
But there is a decade prior to our entrance into city
life, with which I am quite familiar, and about which
I prefer to speak. To me, Bloomington from 1840
to 1850 is much more interesting than Bloomington
from 1850 to 1900.
To know a man or a woman well, you must know
something of his, or her youth; and to know a city,
you must know who were its builders, what were its
youthful surroundings, and under what conditions did
it find its municipal life?
When we are young our minds are easily moved to
joy or sadness by the chords, or discords of our own
dreaming, and imagination plays a large part in fill-
ing waste places with things of beauty, and often casts
a glamour over events which, possibly, are quite real-
Therefore, if some things I may say should seem to
be somewhat fanciful, you will remember this is a
reminiscence, rather than a history.
Bloomington in 1840 was a picture of "Sweet Au-
burn." Try to think of it, as it nestled in the sun-
shine on the border of the grove. Great oaks standing
like mailed sentinels for its protection. No landscape
garden ; no flower bordered park ; no well shaven lawn,
or artificial lake, was half so wonderful as that Bloom-
Oaks, elms, hackberry and linden, ash, hickory,
maple and walnut; open glassy glades and leafy dells;
natural bowers, trellised with wild grape vines, car-
peted with violets and sweetwilliams, perfumed with
flowers and resonant with the music of singing birds.
This wonderful grove, full of animal life, fed at
nature's bountiful table; a thousand flowers, ranging
from the spring violet to the golden-rod; the May ap-
ple, the paw-paw, and the purple grape ; from budding
spring to fading autumn, for the delight of man, ar-
rayed herself in her changing garments of beauty.
And the prairie to the north of it more wonderful
than the grove, waving and undulating like a sea in
motion, was an endless landscape of grasses and flow-
ers, where the wild rose blossomed and the red deer
"Wonderful land, where the loam and the sand
Burst into bloom at the touch of a hand."
And so, between the grove and the prairie, with
their "orchard, and meadow, and deep tangled wild-
wood," lay this pretty village like a sleeping child in
the sunshine and the shade.
And this is what the dreamer saw :
"Seas of grain and of answer to the prayer of man-
And the rose in blossom making a bride of the wind.
And the prairie flowers shining like a scripture in
And the bees abroad with their blunder and boom,
Never blunder amiss, for there is something to kiss,
Where the flowers out of doors smile in all weather,
And bud, blossom and fruit graced the garden to-
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 27
I hold that the men who build a city, who lay
its foundation and nourish it into life, impress their
characteristics upon it for generations to come. And
it is to the founders and pioneer citizens of Blooming-
ton, who laid its foundations in soberness and right-
eousness, in intelligence, integrity and honor, that we
owe the high reputation of our city, and the pride with
which we say today, "We are Citizens of No Mean
And when I mention the names of these gentle-
men, I am calling a roll of honor.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOL!
for four years, or more, was taught by Dr. Wm. C.
Hobbs. There were other school teachers before and
after. Mr. Bragg, Mr. S. S. Luce, Mr. George W.
Mincer, Mr. Peter Folsom, but the village school
teacher proper, par excellence, was Dr. Hobbs. A sin-
gular and remarkable man ! He came from Louis-
ville, Ky., I think in 1838. He was the dentist, school
teacher, and the social arbiter elegantarhim of the vil-
lage. He was a large, handsome and elegant gentle-
man. While most other citizens dressed in blue jeans,
towe linen and linsey wolsey, he wore broadcloth, silk
hats, immaculate Hnen and silk lined cloaks. He was
afterwards a merchant, and for many years the county
clerk. He died leaving no enemies, a good many
debts, and twenty-seven satin vests.
I recall the following names of persons now living
in Bloomington who attended this school : Adam and
Peter Guthrie, William Newton and James Hodge,
Jonathan H. Cheney, Thomas J. Bunn, Richard Lan-
der, John T. Walton, James and William Depew, Ed-
ward Hardy, Dr. Wm. M. T. Miller, James S. Ewing,
Lewis B. Thomas.
Miss Virginia Hayden, now Mrs. Lynus Graves.
Miss Louisa Depew, now Mrs. Dr. Grothers.
Miss Harriet Hardy, now Mrs. I. W. Wilmuth.
Miss Margaret Hawks, now Mrs. Richard Lander.
Miss Nannie McGulloch, now Mrs. D. S. Dyson.
Miss Lydia McKisson, now Mrs. Edward Hardy.
Miss Mary Hawks, now Mrs. O. T. Reeves.
When I first remember Bloomington, the block
north of the court house was owned and occupied as
a residence by Dr. John F. Henry. He came from
Hopkins ville, Ky. ; was a descendant of Patrick
Henry; a brother of the Hon. Gustavus Henry, one
of the great orators of Tennessee.
Dr. Henry was a most elegant and accomplished
gentleman, as well as an able physician. He improved
the farm east of the city now owned by Mr. George
P. Davis, and did much to give tone, character and
culture to the new community.
The block east of the court house was owned and
occupied by another physician. Dr. John Anderson.
He was the father of Mrs. Jonathan H. Cheney. He
was a gentleman of means for that day; a learned
physician, of great dignity of character and of superior
intelligence. He died in early manhood, but was long
remembered in the village for his kindness and real
Dr. Colboune was another of our early doctors who
was very much loved and respected. He removed to
Peoria, where he died many years after. His son is
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 29
now one of the leading physicians and surgeons of
that city. There were others who came a Httle later;
the ones I most particularly remember were Dr. A. H.
Luce, Dr. Ezekiel Thomas, Dr. E. K. Crothers, Dr.
Geo. W. Stipp, Dr. Chas. R. Parke, and Dr. Thos. F.
were David Davis, General Gridley, Wells Coulton,
and Kersey H. Fell. Afterwards, but while Bloom-
ington was yet a village, and almost at the same time,
came a number of young lawyers who well supple-
mented the fathers of this bar, and continued it, what
it always had been and what it has remained to this
day, one of the ablest in the state: Leonard Swett,
Ward W. Orme, John H. Wickizer, W. H. Hanna
and John M. Scott.
There were other distinguished lawyers who, while
they were not residents of Bloomington, yet practiced
at the McLean county bar, and we may claim some-
thing of their fame as a possession.
In the early history of this county, two boys, one
day, went into the old court house to hear a lawsuit
tried. There were assembled eight young lawyers —
not all of them engaged in the trial, but giving strict
attention to the proceeding. It was not a suit of great
importance. Some one had permitted his cattle to
stray into his neighbor's cornfield ; the neighbor set
his dog on the cattle, and a suit in trespass followed.
It was really a suit between the dog and the steers,
and involved their respective characters for quietness
and good deportment in the neighborhood. But en-
gaged, or interested, in that suit, were eight young
lawyers. I doubt if any one of them were over 26 or
Q.'j years old; certainly not over 30, and some much
younger. The court was presided over by Samuel H.
Treat, who afterwards became a United States district
judge, and one of the most distinguished lawyers and
jurists in the state. One of the lawyers was General
Asahel Gridley, our townsman, and a well known
citizen of the state.
David Davis, first a noted lawyer, then a circuit
judge; then a judge of the Supreme court of the
United States ; then a United States senator and acting
vice-president of the nation ; a citizen of state and na-
tional fame, whom the people of Bloomington loved
and delighted to honor.
Another was John T. Stewart, a brilliant lawyer,
several times a member of congress and one of the
most lovable of men.
Another one was David Campbell, then the prose-
cuting attorney, and afterwards a prominent lawyer
and citizen of Springfield.
Another was Edward D. Baker, who was after-
wards a United States senator from Oregon ; a famous
orator, who immortalized himself by his marvelous
oration over David Broderick.
Another was James McDougal, a brilliant Irish-
man, afterwards a United States senator from the state
And Abraham Lincoln ! who has passed beyond the
domain of human praise into the pantheon of unusual
I might add that one of those boys afterwards be-
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 3 1
came the vice-president of the United States ; and the
other is your speaker.
Speaking to any audience in America, and I might
say in the world, I doubt if such an incident could be
truthfully related of any other gathering.
We had political parties in those days, and the
country was lost and saved as often then as now.
The leading Whigs were David Davis, Wm. Mc-
Cullough, Allen Withers, Jesse W. Fell, Isaac Funk,
General Gridley, Wm. Thomas, Wm. H. Temple, Wm.
Hodge, James Miller.
The leading Democrats were Merrit L. Covel,
Abram Brokaw, Henry I. Miller, Joseph C. Duncan,
John W. Ewing, H. P. Merriman, Albert Dodd, John
Moore, Geo. D. Mcllhiney.
There was a third party — not a Greenback, Popu-
list or Prohibition party. It was called the Abolition
party! It was a small and very much abused party.
In Bloomington it numbered six members. Thomas
Hardy, Wm. Wallis, J. N. Ward, Deacon Tompkins,
Geo. Dietrich, Silas Hays.
Abolitionism was then a term of reproach. And
those who openly professed the faith were bitterly
denounced as fanatics, "pestilent fellows," "stirrers-up
of sedition," and enemies of their country. They de-
nied this charge. They said, "We love our country,
and therefore dare we not keep silence concerning
Whigs and Democrats proclaimed the vital, "para-
mount" and all important questions were about Inter-
nal Improvements, U. S. Bank, the Tariff, the Mexican
War. These six men said, "nothing is important but
human liberty." "A free people cannot have slaves."
"It is on our consciences, we must talk."
The Whigs and Democrats said, "You are agi-
tators; you must not agitate, you will ruin the coun-
They said, "Not till the country divorces herself
from her sin can her bells ring peace."
And now, in the white light of history, we know
that theirs was, "The voice crying in the wilderness,
make straight the paths of the Lord ! "
Now we know that those six men, and they only,
were right, and all the others were wrong. Now we
know that in politics questions of arithmetic, questions
of finance, questions of economics are never of su-
Now we know that in the presence of a question
of human liberty, a question of preserving the republic
on the true principle of the Declaration of Independ-
ence, all other questions must veil their faces, and,
for the time being, sink into insignificance.
THE BUSINESS INTERESTS.
of the village were well represented. The market was
largely local, but almost every demand was supplied
by some local industry.
Mr. Matthew Hawks operated an oil mill.
Mr. John N. Larimore manufactured hats,
Mr. Daniel Dryer had a pottery.
Wm. Flagg and John W. Ewing, as Flagg & Ew-
ing, operated a saw mill, machine shop and foundry,
and manufactured furniture.
David Haggard made half bushels.
Lewis Bunn and Oliver Ellsworth were the black-
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 33
Gillespie and Adolph were tailors.
John Dawson was the shoemaker.
Goodman and Lyman Ferre were the wagon
James Walton and Joshua Harlan were saddlers
and harness makers.
John Myers and S. B. Brown ran the flour mill.
Jacob Myers had a woolen mill.
Ebenezer Peck and William Brewer each owned
George Deitrich was the tinner.
Noah Stine, Benjamin Harrison, and John Rock-
hold were coopers.
Allen Withers, Wm. Temple, Wm. H. Allen, James
H. Robinson, and A. J. Merriman were our merchants.
Joel Depew was a cabinet maker.
J. N. Ward manufactured chairs.
Crevan Bosley was the house painter, and
John L. Wolcott was the undertaker.
You see how diversified were these industries. How
everything that was wanted was manufactured at
home. Every one did well, made a good living, and
was well content that his neighbor should prosper.
There was then no selfish spirit of competition which
sought to drive all others out of business and gather
all the golden sheaves into one barn.
Remember, that in this village were only 500 or
600 people. Ministers, doctors, lawyers, manufactur-
ers, handicraftsmen, and day laborers worked together
for the good of the community and of each other. All
whose names I have mentioned in any connection were
high-minded, honorable men. Self-respecting and re-
spected, many of them were remarkable men ; and all
of them would have been marked men in any com-
munity. They respected each other's rights while they
maintained their own.
Between these men there were strong attachments
and warm friendships, which lasted through life, and
in many cases extended to their descendants. There
were no rich men, and few poor ones.
I have often expressed a doubt if any other village
of equal size ever contained as many men of such
peculiar and marked characteristics what might be
called "characters," or "types."
There are many of my hearers who will understand
exactly what I mean when I call to their recollection :
Zera Patterson, Capt. Furgason, John Rockhold,
James Allen, General Gridley, John Dietrich, William
Flagg, Wm. C. Hobbs, Isaac Baker, Dr. Lindley,
Bailey Coffee, Greenberry Larrison, Dr. Espy, Wm.
McCullough, Jesse W. Fell, Willett Gray, Wm. Tem-
pie. Strongly marked characters, and utterly unlike
any one but themselves.
There were no railroads in those days, no tele-
graphs nor telephones, no sewing machines, no gas
lights, no pavements, few sidewalks, no daily paper,
no city council, no mayor! and yet people were happy !
I love to think of this little community, with its
simple and healthy habits, its splendid men and women,
its bright lads and pretty maidens as something ideal.
There was not the elegance, fashion and culture of
today ; but there was honesty, kindness and good will.
There were not the fine residences which now adorn
our beautiful city. Their homes were mostly cottages
and cabins ; but the honeysuckle and the morning-glory
climbed over their doorways and the songs of birds
wakened them from slumber.
These were some of the men and women who laid
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 35
the foundation and built our city. The builders are
dead, but their city remains, and this celebration to-
day is in honor of their memory.
Fifty years ago the village became a city. In that
fifty years zuhat marvelous changes have taken place !
The railroads came, the sidewalks and pavements were
built; our churches have increased in size and num-
ber, and our colleges and schools, our court house and
fine public buildings, our library, our water works,
our fire department, our beautiful shaded streets, our
literary and musical societies have all combined to more
than fulfill the promise of our youth. In all this ma-
terial prosperity and improvement we rejoice.
But there is something more to a city than its
streets and houses; something, if not so tangible, yet
quite as real. It is what the French call
l'esprit de la ville.
Paris is not simply a great fashionable city which
is to have an exposition this year. It is the city of
Charlemagne, of Louis the XIV, of Rosseau and Robe-
pierre, of Marie Antoinette, of the Revolution, the Bas-
tile, and the Commune. It is where kings and emper-
ors have reigned, loved and died; and which a thou-
sand tragedies have embalmed in story and in song.
When an American visits London, the first places
he inquires after and wants most to see are London
Bridge, Drury Lane, and Primrose Hill, immortalized
in the wonderful poems of Mother Goose. Then he
wants to find the "Old Curiosity Shop," and a hundred
other places made so real by the genius of Charles
I once stopped over a day in a little town in Italy
to visit the grave of a sixteen-year-old girl who died
400 years ago (or rather who never lived at all), sim-
ply because the greatest poet who ever lived had told
how passionately she loved, and how sadly she died.
The genius of the poet hallowed the spot and changed
the mystic ideal into things rare and real.
A hundred thousand tourists annually visit a lit-
tle town in Germany (not larger than Le Roy), be-
cause a poet wrote the little love song of "Bingen on
The houses, streets and alleys are the "outward
and visible signs of the inward and spiritual" life and
character of a city which is, after all, the most real.
Whenever you feel the touch of humanity, wherever
you connect the scenes with the deeds of men, who
have lived, and loved, and suffered, the chain is be-
yond the breaking. Hence these celebrations affect
our hearts. They bring to us the memory of those
whose lives and works have made life easier for us.
They recall whatever there may be of noble action,
self-sacrifice or act of heroism. This celebration will
make more real to us these intangible certitudes. If
we love our city, that love will be anchored in its mem-
ories, tragedies, and traditions.
The moral tone of a city, its intelligence, its public
spirit, its culture, its patriotism, its traditions, its
citizenship ; what it has done, and what it has produced,
determine its certitudes. Considered from this point
of view, I think, we may also say, "We are Citizens
OF NO Mean City.' ^
Bloomington is a patriotic city! She sent soldiers
and officers to the Black Hawk War. She sent a com-
pany to the Mexican War. She sent a regiment to
the war of the Rebellion. She sent a company to the
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 37
war with Spain. We have Harvey, Howell, Hogg,
Orme and McCulloug-h who gave up their lives for
their country. They, with many others, are our
heroes, whom we delight to honor.
Bloomington has also furnished her full quota to
the civil service of her country. Two vice-presidents,
one United States senator, a judge of the United
States Supreme court ; a judge of the court of claims ;
six members of congress; two governors, and one
chief justice of the state of Illinois.
And without any disposition to exaggerate, and
in all modesty, I think I may say, that we are prepared
to duplicate this record at any time the country may be
in need of jurists and statesmen.
Bloomington is a moral city! It is full of beauti-
ful houses ; its yards, gardens and lawns are clean and
well kept. It is full of churches and schools, and its
streets are lined, adorned and beautified with shade
trees (except where the spaces are needed for tele-
We challenge comparison with any city, as to the
moral tone, intelligence, public spirit, culture and so-
cial qualities of our citizens. And, subjectively con-
sidered, we may well say, "We are Citizens of no
Thus far I have spoken of the past. But what may
we reasonably expect of
I think Bloomington will never be a very large
city ; and I am glad of that. It will never be a boom
city ; and I am glad of that. It will never be a manu-
facturing city, and I am glad of that. It will never
be the capital of the state ; and I am glad of that. It
will never be a city like Chicago, and I am glad of that.
Bloomington will continue its steady, conserva-
tive, healthy growth towards the fulfillment of its
manifest destiny; which is, to become the ideal resi-
dence city of the west.
It will not be long until all of our streets will be
paved; thus saving the annual expense of taking care
of dirt roads, and the enormous additional expense of
cleaning the pavements already built. This will be
done just as soon as it can be realized that it will cost
no more to do it all in one year than to spread it over
Continuing in the spirit of prophecy, I will say,
the time is coming when, following the suggestion of
one of our most public spirited citizens, our school
house yards and our unique little strip lawns will be
turned over to our park commissioners, who will see
that they are well covered with grass, their shade
trees trimmed and guarded (and wherever the tele-
graph, electric light, and telephone companies permit),
new trees planted wherever they are needed.
We need, and will have established here, a first-
class female college, a fit mate for our universities,
where our young girls can secure a finished educa-
tion, while at the same time enjoying the benefits of
home culture and protection. When we have the
schools, our city will be sought as a place of residence
by people of means and refinement, for purposes of
education and the benefits to be derived therefrom. If
we have any money to give away, let us give it for
this purpose, and not to buggy factories and cereal
mills, et cetera!
In this ideal city of the future, we will have clean
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 39
streets. There has been wonderful improvement in
the last year. Just as soon as our city council learns
that there is no money the citizen pays so willingly
as that used in cleaning the streets, this service will be
improved. There is another thing ! Some day, it will
dawn upon the street commissioner, that it costs no
more to clean off the crossings within an hour after
a rain than it does four days after. And then, won't
we all be happy?
We may none of us live to see the blessed time,
but some time "in the sweet bye and bye" the long
rows of great ugly, black, dirty poles, which mar, dis-
figure, and disgrace many of our most beautiful aven-
ues, will be removed, and the rusty wires which adorn
them will be buried out of sight. Do not think I am
imposing upon your credulity, or desire to create false
hopes. In this wonderful century of material progress
more wonderful things have happened, and even if
our eyes may not see this glory, we may leave it as a
hope and aspiration to our posterity.
There is a beautiful little city to the north of us,
built up around our state university. I am in favor of
annexing Normal. It is not at all certain that the in-
habitants of that city are capable of self-government.
In all the years they have been trying the experiment,
they haven't established a single saloon, and but one
law office. Annexation would be of great financial ad-
vantage to us. It would open up a great missionary
field, and a new area of enterprise for our surplus
lawyers, real estate men, insurance agents and book
peddlers. I do not favor, however, forcible annexa-
tion (if it can be avoided.) I believe the "constitution
follows the flag," and favor a policy that would give
these "insurgents" the benefit of home government,
under our direction, and the rights of citizenship ; pro-
vided they accept our notions of citizenship.
If Normal will allow us to retain a few saloons,
and the city railway company will agree to run enough
cars after the theater, the matter can be easily ar-
Then by a judicious system of tariff duties, or by
special assessment, we might compel these new citi-
zens to build hard roads and pavements connecting us
with our "new possessions."
By the establishment of a coaling station at the
university, we could easily extend our trade to the
Soldiers' Home, Hudson, Kerrick, and Kappa. The
possibilities are enormous.
More seriously speaking, there is a growing con-
viction that a union of these cities, under just and
proper conditions, will be mutually beneficial in very
many ways. There are visions of hard roads, paved
streets, shaded drives, and intervening parks; of a
larger and more beautiful city, cheaper taxation, more
influence for good, and brighter prospects for the fu-
Our little neighbor is somewhat coy, and must be
wooed as a bride; the union must be a marriage, and
added to its material advantages, must be added a
dowry of love and affection.
One other hope allow me to express. In the old
city cemetery sleep many of our city builders, with the
ones they loved. This consecrated property is owned
by the city. Is not this an appropriate occasion to sug-
gest the caring for and beautifying of this long ne-
glected city of our dead? It would be but the grate-
ful performance of a sacred duty. I am sure I express
the unanimous sentiment of every citizen of Bloom-
"A CITIZEN OF NO MEAN CITY" 41
ington, when I say to our city council that any rea-
sonable expenditure of money for this purpose would
meet with their cordial approval.
A city is a part of the state and the nation. As we
are "Citizens of No Mean City," in a far higher
sense we are citizens of a great free Republic.
As we gather up the memories and traditions of
our little city, that our love and patriotism may grow
into fellowship with them, we will not forget the
broader and more sacred obligations we owe to our
entire country. We will remember with renewed
thankfulness our unpaid debt of gratitude to its found-
ers and builders.
If I remind you, it is not because you have for-
gotten, how they laid its foundations on the solid rock
of absolute political and legal equality, and then ce-
mented them with their blood; how they gave us a
government without king, or caste, or pride of birth,
where we call no man master ; where there is no royal
road to distinction, and where honest worth is better
than coronet or patent of nobility; how they left us
rich legacies in their words of wisdom for our guid-
This great legacy is ours, not bought with a price,
but a free gift. What we will do with it, and how
we will execute our trust, remains to be written. If
we are true to our trust, true to our fathers, true to
the institutions they founded, our country will go on
from prosperity to prosperity, and find its fruition in
power, and safety and peace. But, if faithless, we
relax public vigilance, and are seduced into yielding
to the rash impulses of the hour, and permit our coun-
try to be dragged into the vortex of foreign strife,
we may make shipwreck of the noblest bark that was
ever launched on the tide of time.
The God of Nations, who inspired the Declaration
of Independence, who gave us Jefferson and Lincoln,
who camped with our armies at Valley Forge and on
a hundred battlefields of civil strife, who has safe-
guarded us in all our trials, will not forsake us in
our present temptation. But out of it all, as purified
by fire, will come a renewed patriotism, a purer love
of liberty, a more unselfish public service, and a more
stainless public honor, which will enable us, and our
children's children, to say, with exultation and pride,
not only, are we "Citizens of No Mean City !" but
of the great free American Republic.
THE GREAT LAWYER
Delivered before the State Bar Association at Springfield, Illinois
Fifteen hundred and seventy-one years before
Christ, there was born in the capital of Egypt the most
remarkable man the world has ever seen. Whether
born in a palace or fished from the bulrushes on the
banks of the Nile, is an inquiry which does not enter
into this discussion, nor does our conclusion of that
question, the one way or the other, increase or dimin-
ish our estimate of the marvelous genius of the great-
est lawyer of any age.
Reared in a royal palace, graced by the most ele-
gant and cultured court; taught by the most learned
doctors; a member of the college of priests; initiated
into the most abstruse of Egyptian mysteries; a mas-
ter of the learning and culture of his time; the fa-
miliar companion of kings, at the age of forty years
he found himself, by a law of the kingdom, cut off
from its inheritance. Either on account of his ille-
gitimacy, or on account of his supposed Hebrew origin,
he found himself an object of suspicion and hatred
to the new dynasty. He determined to found a new
nation out of the "children of bondage." Two mil-
lions of slaves, the bond-men and bond-women for
many generations, were the materials he found scat-
tered through Egypt. He found an Egyptian maltreat-
ing a Hebrew and slew him, and this was the outward
and visible sign of his alliance with the slave, and a de-
claration of war against the master. Then followed
forty years of exile and solitude in that land of deso-
lation to the east of the Red Sea. This "land of
Midian," with its subhmity of rocky cHff and moun-
tain gorge ; with its rocks and sand ; its sterile soil and
scattered pastoral people, was a fit university for that
preparation necessary to his wonderful career. All
the learning of the schools of Egypt ; all the knowledge
and skill he had acquired from the sages and doctors
of the royal court; all the insight he had into the sci-
entific mysteries of the colleges of the priests — all
went for nothing. But in these dreamy solitudes of
desert waste, without books, companionship or teacher,
communing only with nature and his own soul upon
the problems of government and law, he evolved, cod-
ified and perfected a great system of jurisprudence,
which has been and will be to the end of time, the won-
der of the world.
It may be doubted if any man ever impressed his
genius upon his race to any considerable extent, who
did not find his preparatory school in the solitude of
a desert, or the dreariness of a mountain. It was so
with Brahma, with Moses, with Zoroaster, and with
Jesus. Consider what this man did ! He returned
to Egypt, gathered together a scattered mass of two
million of slaves ; compelled their task-masters to let
them go ; and kept them forty years in a wildnerness.
He found them ignorant, idolatrous, selfish, sensuous,
and cruel. He left them a united nation, a virtuous.
God-fearing people, the subjects of government and
law; organized into conquering armies; with an es-
tablished priesthood and recognizing to the fullest
extent the obligations of citizenship, the sacredness of
the family, the purity of woman, the ownership of
property, and glowing with the pride of nationality ; a
unified and wonderful nation which maintained its
THE GREAT LAWYER 45
ascendency in western Asia for a thousand years, cul-
minating in the magnificence and glory of David and
Solomon. And more wonderful still, after thirty and
a half centuries this same people, scattered over the
whole earth in every city, village and hamlet, preserv-
ing their unity of blood and race, and their grandeur
of worship and faith, exemplify the laws and institu-
tions of this sage of the wilderness. He did this for
the Hebrew race; and for himself, linked his name
with all subsequent ages and impressed his genius
upon the human race for all time to come.
I do not see in this wonderful history, the "won-
der working rod," the smitten rock of Horeb; the
miraculous manna, the "pillar of cloud," nor the
"fires of Sinai;" but a more marvelous miracle, the
presence amongst men of a genius so transcendently
superior as to impress the conviction that God does
care for his children, by raising up at proper times
for them, teacher, prophet, priest, and law-giver, to
lead them along paths of ascent to plains of higher
civilization and better living.
"It is a terrible thing," says Carlisle, "when God
lets loose a thinker upon the earth!" Terrible, be-
cause in their wake follow transitions from lower to
higher plans ; the crashing of idols, the overthrow of
intellectual and religious systems, and the tearing
down and building up of kingdoms.
This was true of Moses in Egypt and of Brahma
in India; it was true five hundred years later of Gau-
tama, the founder of Buddhism in Hindustan ; it was
true one thousand years later of Confucius in China,
and Zoroaster in Persia; and it was true fifteen hun-
dred years later of Jesus in Judea. It is not of
Moses "the man of God," the "inspired historian,"
the "holy prophet," the "divine Hberator," but of
Moses the lawyer, I desire to speak.
The ordinances of the Mosaic code are of two
kinds: ist. The enunciation of great fundamental
truths, as rules of civil conduct, applicable to all peo-
ple and to all times. 2nd. Such as pertain prima-
rily and principally to the government of the Jews in
their then condition. Many of these latter laws, ordi-
nances and regulations are justly considered by law-
yers as unnecessarily tedious, sometimes concerned
about trifling details, often involved and unmeaning,
and oftener cruel and unjust. If we study this code
in connection with the history of the peculiar people
for whom it was intended, at the same time keeping
in mind the purposes of the law maker, many of these
criticisms cease to be valid. The aim and purpose of
Moses concerning the Jews was, first, to wean them
from the debasing sin and practice of idolatry; and,
second, to create and preserve them a united and for-
ever a "peculiar people."
For these purposes he created Jehovah! Not the
Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who was the
creator of the universe and the loving father of all
men, but Jehovah, the God of the Jews; their ruler;
their protector ; their avenger ; the divine head of their
theocracy. They were his chosen people. He led
them out of bondage ; opened the sea for their deliver-
ance ; fed them with manna ; guided them by cloud and
fire, and gave them victory over their enemies ! He was
a jealous God. Visiting the sins of the parents upon
their children, executing the lex talionis — an eye for
an eye and a tooth for a tooth; and for every Jewish
■"male child" the "first born" of every Egyptian house-
liold. The necessities of the case required Jehovah!
THE GREAT LAWYER 47
To accomplish the same purposes, Moses estabhshed
a priesthood; built the tabernacle; instituted festivals
and forms of worship. All communion and trade re-
lations with the surrounding pagan nations were
strictly prohibited. Reasoning from effect to cause,
we can readily see how this idea of Jehovah, so im-
pressed, became a part and parcel of the Jewish char-
acter. He saw the end of the beginning! The unifi-
cation was complete. From the end of the Exodus to
the destruction of Jerusalem, the idea became more and
more intensified. The tabernacle became a temple ; the
simple, ceremonies of the wilderness expanded into the
gorgeous liturgy of Solomon. And today the scat-
tered tribes of Jacob, in every land under the sun, pre-
serve the purity of their blood; are one people, with
one God and one worship. The rabbis administer the
the same ordinances Levi administered at the foot of
Sinai. The people keep the same feasts ; sing the songs
of triumph Miriam sang, and the sweet psalms that
David wrote. Even amongst these local institutions
and laws suited to and intended for, an isolated and
theocratic people, there are found many of great value
and applicable to all people in their highest conditions
of development. The institution of the Sabbath; the
setting aside of every seventh day as a day of rest,
was the special work of Moses. No other govern-
ment commanded and no other people practiced it.
This was a sanitary, and not a religious institution.
He was not a religious teacher. His aim, like that
of all great leaders and legislators, was to establish a
high moral standard for the conduct of his people.
There is not a word in all his writings about a future
state. All his ordinances and rules were directed to
the physical improvement of the people; to their intel-
lectual and moral advancement, and to their national
success and glory. However men may differ as to
the proper observance of the Sabbath, all agree as to its
necessity and beneficence. Moses believed in the sa-
credness of the human body; and many of his ordi-
nances are directed to personal cleanliness and to pro-
viding punishments for personal injuries and abuses.
He held that chastity was absolutely necessary to the
purity of the family and the glory of the nation. All
offenses against female chastity were severely pun-
ished. He taught reverence to parental authority.
"Honor thy father and mother" (not for some future
reward but) "that thy days may be long in the land."
These principles, the sacredness of the human body;
the observance of the Sabbath ; the chastity of woman ;
reverence for parental authority, impressed by the laws
and inspired by the genius of their Great Law-giver,
produced effects upon the Hebrew people, in their do-
mestic relations, as marvelous as the idea of Jehovah
upon their tribal unity.
It now seems desirable to speak of those immutable
legal principles, suited to all times, to all countries,
conditions and peoples ; those great distinctive enuncia-
tions of the Mosaic jurisprudence which are the glori-
ous monuments of their author's fame, and of which
Christ spake when he said of them, "not one jot or
tittle shall pass away." They have not passed away;
but have found their way into all Hebrew literature,
and after the establishment of Christianity, into the
jurisprudence of every Christian country. In the
codes of Justinian, of Theodosius, of Chalemagne, and
of Alfred, are found the laws of Moses. Their pains-
taking compiled, but his genius created them. It is
only permitted us to glance at a few of these principles
THE GREAT LAWYER 49
to illustrate our meaning. The only object of law or
government is, protection to life, liberty, property and
reputation. To subserve and accomplish this object,
governments are instituted, laws enacted, offices created
and taxes imposed. A few short sentences embody the
fundamental principles of the Mosaic code, and em-
brace the entire object of law, i. e., protection to life,
liberty, property and reputation. "Thou shalt not
kill." Here is the recognition of the sacredness of the
human body, the seat and temple of life. Here is indi-
vidualism; the right of self-defense, personal dignity
of character, and the protected right to all the sweet
joys of living. "Thou shalt not steal." The right to
the possession and enjoyment of property is recog-
nized, enforced and protected. Covetousness, which
leads to theft, is prohibited. "Thou shalt not covet
anything which is thy neighbor's," is an injunction
intended to sap the foundation of the common sin
against property rights. "Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor." Reputation, which
should be as sacred as property or life, is a sacredly
All these objects of legislation are fully and per-
fectly protected by a complete and minute code of re-
wards and punishments. All the reciprocal obliga-
tions and duties of master and servant, husband and
wife, parent and child, of guardian and ward, are spe-
cifically provided for and clearly defined in this great
scheme of jurisprudence, now thirty centuries old.
The world has not much improved upon it. It was
composed for one people, but it has become the inheri-
tance of all nations of the earth. It was inscribed
upon tablets of stone, and shrined in the tabernacle,
but neither tabernacle nor temple could contain it, and
its precepts have become rules of civil conduct in the
lives of all civilized men.
Its author was not permitted to enter the "prom-
ised land," but he lives immortal in that land which
men call fame. He went up from the plains of Moab
to the heights of Beth-peor to die, and "no man know-
eth his grave to this day;" but we know it is above
the clouds, and that the sunshine of eternal glory has
settled upon it.
This was the bravest warrior
That ever buckled sword ;
This the most gifted poet
That ever breathed a word ;
And never earth's philosopher
Traced with his golden pen
On the deathless page, truths half so sage
As he wrote down for men.
JUDGE LAWRENCE WELDON
Delivered at a Meeting of the McLean County Bar, AprU 13, 1903,
on the Death of Lawrence Weldon
I became acquainted with Judge Weldon in Clin-
ton, in the summer of 1854. It was within a few
months after his location, as a lawyer, in that place,
A few weeks later I was present in the "Old Na-
tional Hotel," in this city, and heard Senator Douglas
introduce Weldon to Lincoln. Judge Douglas said,
"Mr. Lincoln, here is a young lawyer who has come
from Ohio and located in Clinton." Mr, Lincoln
said, "Is that so? Well, I am glad of it; I go to
Clinton sometimes myself and perhaps we will meet
and get acquainted." This was the beginning of an
acquaintance and a friendship fraught with varied con-
sequences to the young lawyer.
Lawrence Weldon was then twenty-five years old.
He came to Illinois well equipped for the coming con-
tests. The time of preparation was past and in the
full flush of young manhood, he entered the lists for
the favors of fortune.
The struggles of boyhood and youth were ended.
Acquaintances, friends and kindred, he had left be-
hind, and new friends, new acquaintances, and new
interests were to be acquired. He had come to the
Looking backward over the half century of mar-
velous events in which this young lawyer acted no
mean part, it is interesting to think what he saw as
his gaze sought to pierce the future which held his for-
tunes. What were his ambitions, his hopes, and ex-
pectations? And did the evening fulfill the promise
of the morning?
He practiced law in Clinton from 1854 to 1862,
when he was appointed United States District Attor-
ney for the Southern District of Illinois, which office
he held for about four years.
In Clinton he met, in the beginning of his practice,
such men as Clifton H. Moore and Henry S. Greene
of the local bar, Mr. Lincoln, who came from Spring-
field, Leonard Swett, who went from Bloomington and
Richard J. Oglesby of Decatur. And when he went
to Springfield he came in conflict with such men as
Milton Hay, Benjamin F. Edwards, John T. Stuart,
John M. Palmer, James Robinson, Anthony Knapp
and Shelby M. Cullom, and from time to time all the
ablest lawyers of Central Illinois,
This was great training, and when he came to
Bloomington in 1867 he was a legal gladiator, well
armed and equipped for the hundreds of contests
which awaited him.
For sixteen years in the prime of his splendid man-
hood, he practiced his profession as a member of this
bar. At that time I think I can say with truth, the
McLean county bar was as able as any in the State,
Hamilton Spencer, Robert E. Williams, William
H. Hanna, Owen T. Reeves, Thomas F. Tipton, E. M.
Prince, and Reuben M. Benjamin were of the older set
who had already won their spurs.
There was a younger set, the members of which
were then striving for the high places : J. H. Rowell,
A. E. Stevenson, Joseph W. Fifer, Thomas C. Ker-
LAWRENCE WELDON 53
rick, Isaac N. Phillips, William E. Hughes, John E.
Pollock and John M. Hamilton.
It was with such antagonists, this newcomer was
to wage battle in the rough and tumble law practice
of a country town. And to say of him that he took
high rank amongst them as a lawyer, that he held his
own, that he was the equal of any of them as a trial
lawyer and probably the superior of any of them as an
advocate, is indeed high honor.
And when, from the weariness and strife of these
many contests, the call came to "come up higher" there
was no regret, no envy, no heart-burnings, and no voice
that did not say, "He is worthy of all honor.' '
For twenty-one years he was a judge in the high
court at the National Capitol. And the same great
qualities of learning, courage and courtesy which
gained for him fame as a lawyer, made him a great
And in the calmer atmosphere of the bench his
patient industry, and love of justice supplemented and
crowned with new luster, the fame he had won at the
To say that Judge Weldon was a great lawyer and
a just judge, is to say all. No words can add to this
When I say I knew this man for fifty years and
that for the greater part of that time he was my friend
"faithful and true to me," I do not arrogate to myself
any special claim, or assert a right to more than a fair
share in a common heritage.
There is not one here today who was not his
friend. Unlike most men, with him every acquaint-
ance was a friend. His heart was so full of human
kindness, that there was room in it for all.
His death came to so many as a personal sorrow.
There is not a member of this bar who would not
gladly speak words of kindness as a tribute to his
What, out of the abundant riches of his good will,
he gave to me, he gave also to many others, and I
gladly share with them the rich legacy of his friend-
ship; for like the quality of mercy, to receive it en-
riches, but to share it with others does not impoverish.
I count it an honor that the proprieties of this oc-
casion permit me to express my appreciation of this
character and to pay a tribute of affection to his
The Romans had a god whom they called Fortu-
natus. To him they appointed a service and builded
a temple. Those favored by this deity were said to be
He was fortunate in that he was a poor boy. I do
not mean that poverty which is the subject of charity,
but that poverty which necessitates work ; that kind of
poverty which he shared with Jackson, Clay, Lincoln,
Garfield, Seward and Blaine; that poverty which re-
moved temptation, dignified labor and stimulated am-
bition. What he had was won by himself, and this
added to his future success the joy of ownership.
In this school he learned there was no royal road
to distinction; that he must build his own monument.
The Greeks accused Phideas of having engraved
his own features on the statue he made to Jupiter.
If the accusation were true, it was a weakness, for the
statue is lost and the god himself has become a myth,
while the man who wrought and chiseled has become
Pericles said to the Athenians, who accused him
LAWRENCE WELDON 55
of extravagance, "Place my name on these buildings
and I will pay the entire cost." But crumbling ruins
bear witness that it was not in the splendor of the
Parthenon, nor in the architectural beauty of the
Acropolis, he was to find an immortality of fame.
In this day of cheap heroes and newspaper repu-
tations, it is well to learn this lesson which our friend
so well understood and so well exemplified in his life.
He hated shams. He claimed only his own and gave
without regret, the just meed of praise to others.
He was fortunate in the lady whom he wooed and
won for a life companion and to whom he brought the
rich dowry of his young manhood, his honest love and
the promise of future success, and who returned it all
in rich measure by a lifetime of devotion to his inter-
ests; in the children who received, and deserved, his
love and affection ; he was fortunate in being neither
rich nor poor; that as he accumulated an abundance,
he did not acquire a love for riches; that he did not
prostitute his great talents in the accumulation of
wealth; that he retained his better ideals.
Is it not fortunate that he so lived and labored, that
he could bequeath, not only to his heirs, but to this
entire community, the rich legacy of this beautiful and
Lawrence Weldon lived through a period which
produced great events and great men. He lived and
acted with great men, and was not dwarfed in their
Consider the effect of intimate comradeship under
many trying circumstances, with such men as David
Davis ; the privilege of sitting at the feet of and learn-
ing political wisdom from Abraham Lincoln ; of famil-
iar, friendly talks with Robert Ingersoll; of twenty-
one years' association with able judges of an able
court; of communion in the bonds of faithful friend-
ship with hundreds of the prominent men in the min-
istry, the state and at the bar, of the whole country.
Consider what these things meant to a mind capable
of appreciating; a nature sensitive to the best impulses
and to perceptions quick to assimilate impressions.
I say he was fortunate in his friends and he re-paid
their gifts with faithfulness and loyalty.
While retaining his own original characteristics,
these varied influences served to broaden and deepen,
to round out and complete, a personality, which was
the object of sincerest admiration.
Nature was kind to him. She gave him a hand-
some person, graces of manner and dignity of carriage
which at once won confidence and challenged respect.
She gave him that acute sense of humor which,
with his thoughtfulness of purpose and his poetic tem-
perament, formed a trinity rarely blended in one man.
This sixth sense, so lavishly bestowed, enabled him
to see things beautiful, smoothed many rough places,
let in the sunshine often when the clouds were round
about him and on the serious and seamy side of life,
reflected the starlight of cheerfulness.
This "gift of the gods" was one of the qualities
which made him a delightful companion and always
the welcome visitor.
Nature gave him fine mental qualities, quick per-
ceptions, a retentive memory, a vivid imagination and
sound judgment, and all these he trained, quickened,
and strengthened by study and culture.
I do not know what it is exactly to be an educated
man. Judge Weldon, I think, was not a graduate of
any college. I think he did not know Latin or Greek.
LAWRENCE WELDON 57
I doubt if he would have been better educated if he
He was a thorough student of the EngHsh lan-
guage. He knew its philosophy and its derivation.
He was well read in the history of the world. He
knew its great epochs. He had read the best literature
of the world. He was a master of belles lettres and an
excellent grammarian. He knew men — and human
nature. He was a lawyer. He knew the nature of
Governmental power. He was familiar with the prin-
ciples that organize society, protect property and regu-
late all the relations of life.
He read and loved poetry and his mind was stored
with the rich imagery of Hebrew literature. He read
biography and was familiar with the lives of great
men and women.
He thought deeply on political and economic ques-
tions. He knew much of the different schools of
philosophy and while his mind was not metaphysical,
he appreciated their respective influences on the world
of thought and action. These treasures of learning
were the resultant of hours of application almost stolen
from laborious days of an active and busy life, these
garnered golden moments which most of us recklessly
We all know how gentle and courteous he was,
to the court and to the members of the bar. Never
a word that stung, or an action that was unkind He
was careful of the feelings of others and always
mindful of social obligations.
He hated cruelty and could not hear without pain
a tale of suffering. He would not trample a blade of
grass in unkindness.
But this gentleness was not born of timidity. He
was the possessor of high courage. He never feared
mortal man No suitor in court ever had a truer
defender of his rights and I have seen him display as
splendid courage as that of any soldier who ever rode
down a line of battle.
But the greatest of all the gifts was a great heart
full of loving kindness. Greater than hope, greater
than faith, was the charity in him, which "covered a
multitude," not of his own but of the sins of his fel-
I have spoken of his acquaintance with great men,
but his friendships were by no means confided to
these. He numbered as his friends, of the lowly and
He was himself pure in his life. He hated mean-
ness and despised cruelty, but the faults and foibles
of others did not prevent him from seeing their good
qualities or from enjoying their bright ones.
Most of us, if we detect, or think we detect a fault
or a weakness in a neighbor, are too ready to obey the
command "from such withdraw thyself." It was not
so with him. He did not reject the good because he
disliked the bad.
He saw good in everyone. It was like pouring
water through a sieve, the water passed through the
meshes, but the pearls of price remained.
Of him it might have been said, as it was said of
the master, "he eateth with sinners," but if he ate
with them he partook only of the feast and in the
abundance of his charity did not include the sinner in
his detestation of the sin.
He admired to the utmost the genius of the great-
est orator and poet this land has ever produced. But
he kept the simple faith of his fathers. This was his
LAWRENCE WELDON 59
optimism which saw only the good and filled a lifetime
with acts of generous kindness.
No heart ever beat more responsive to the claims
If "true religion and undefiled" is visiting the
widow and the fatherless in their affliction, he was a
true Christian. And if the doing of good acts is the
right way to "lay up treasures in heaven," there was
for him a crown sparkling with gems and jewels, in
his Father's house.
Like all the sons of men he had his days of gloom.
Sometimes the sky was overcast. The road was not
always smooth; sometimes it lay through the valley,
but almost always there was sunlight on the moun-
Expressive of his philosophy of life, he often
quoted, and loved to quote, the language of the great
Cardinal to the King:
My Liege —
"Through plot and counter-plot;
Through gain and loss ;
Through glory and disgrace,
Along the plain where passionate
Discord rears eternal babel.
The holy stream of human happiness glides on."
We ought not to mourn for him. He lived a full
measure of life; with courage he met every obliga-
tion. He ran the course. He fought a good fight.
He kept the faith. His life-work completely finished,
with honors clustering thick about him, he has "rested
from his labors."
And now we say au revoir but not adieu, and close
this imperfect tribute to his memory, in words spoken
by Carlisle of Robert Burns :
"He was indeed of nature's own and most cunning
workmanship. In affectionate admiration he lies en-
shrined in all our hearts, in a far nobler mausoleum
than one of marble."
S>^E} publish the following carefully prepared
^^ address, delivered by the Hon. James S.
Ewing- on Saturday, July 4, 1885, at the dedica-
tion of the Ivitta monument. It expresses the
sentiment of our people in such admirable
terms that it leaves little to be added.
Mr. Ewinff spoke from a stand erected a little
to the southeast of the monument, and his au-
ditors, estimated at over three thousand people,
gave such close attention, that it was entirely
evident they were in accord with his senti-
ments. The whole bearing of those present
was remarkably quiet and respectful, almost
— Bloomington Pantagraph, July 6, 1885.
ADDRESS BY HON. DAVID DAVIS
Friends: We have come together today not to
honor the memory of a soldier, a statesman, a scien-
tist, or any distinguished civihan. As neighbors and
friends we are gathered here to set apart this monu-
ment in remembrance of one who was famiHar at our
firesides in her hfetime, who grew to distinction in the
calhng which she adopted; whose whole career, from
humble beginning to deserved fame, was an example,
and whose life may be said to have been sacrficed to
a noble sense of duty.
To Litta, the woman, first, whose virtues shine
out with luster on her sex, and to Litta, the artist,
second, whose eminence is our local legacy, we are
here to offer the tribute of our respect, of our admira-
tion, and of our affection.
Mothers may point to this memorial as a cheering
encouragement for their daughters, and we may all
feel proud of the fame of this child of Bloomington,
whose presence warmed our hearts when living, and
whose memory is consecrated in the monument erected
by the generous offerings of our people.
It is my pleasant function to present to this assem-
blage the orator, who has been fitly chosen to do justice
to the name and character of Litta.
ADDRESS BY MR. EWING
MARIE EUGENIA VON ELSNER
Was Born June 1, 1856, and Died July 7, 1883
She Was Known to the Musical World as
This is an epitomized history of a remarkable life.
It tells of birth, of death, and of fame. Because they
would not willingly let her memory die; because she
loved her native city and reflected her fame upon it;
because they would do something for her who did so
much for them ; because she was true to the great pur-
pose of her life; because she was heroic and faithful,
and because she was loving and gentle and winsome in
her character; freely, generously, and lovingly,
was erected by the citizens of bloomington,
to the memory
of her who won fame for herself
and reflected it upon the city of her birth."
It was a graceful thing to do. The task has been
a labor of love. The response of those who gave of
their abundance and those who gave their mite was
of itself a beautiful tribute to her memory. In no
case a refusal ; but gladly and with thanksgiving were
those contributions made by rich and poor, as if they
would cover her with perfume, that thus she might
enter upon her dreamless sleep.
You remember the blue-eyed, flaxen-haired girl
who sang her wonderful songs in the days of her
childhood, not very long ago; you knew something
of her struggle with adverse fortune, but you did
not know then of her high resolves, her consciousness
of genius, her daring ambition, and the force of char-
acter which assured success.
You remember how, when a mere girl, she went
to a distant city to enter upon a course of training
for that high calling in which she was to achieve suc-
cessful recognition ; you do not know, perhaps, how for
four long years she labored and studied, and agonized
over the difficulties and mysteries of that most difficult
of all arts.
You remember how she crossed the ocean into a
strange land, alone among strangers whose very lan-
guage she did not know, to find the great masters of
music ; you do not know the heart-burnings, the home-
sickness, the weary hours of tireless, patient labor, the
temptations and discouragements, all of which she met
and conquered during those four years of self -exile.
Her brave heart never faltered. Before her indomit-
able will every obstacle gave way. She thought not
of these things. There was one before her who, tread-
ing the wine-press alone, triumphed over it, and made
it holy for her and all who suffer. It was thus with
her; first a cross and then a crown.
You had almost forgotten the young songstress,
when across the waters there came the tidings of her
triumph. Like a new star in the firmament of music,
she was dazzling and bewildering the musical world.
You heard of her triumphs in the great capitals of the
old world, the plaudits of welcome which greeted her
in the cities of the new, and of her triumphal return
MARIE LITTA 65
to the home of her childhood. Her fame must have
been sweet to her then. She had been true to her
mission through shadow and sunshine, and now she
had come up from the valley of tribulation to the
mount of triumph. How we rejoiced ,at her success;
how we appropriated her fame as the days and months
She came again; but what tongue shall tell the
sorrow of that coming. The Angel of Death touched
her life and she faded as a flower. Oh, it was pitiful!
We could not understand it. It came to each of us
as a personal sorrow. I have often tried to analyze
the significance of that memorable funeral service,
when for hours grieif-stricken mourners passed by
her bier — young and old, rich and poor, the lofty and
the lowly — all tearful and silent in the presence of a
great sorrow. Others covered with honors have died
in our midst; others young and beautiful have passed
from among us ; many, very many times we have gone
to the house of mourning; but who, like this young
girl, won every heart to love her, and a whole com-
munity to feel that the world was lonesome without
"But, oh, for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!"
Expressive of this thought, we have chiseled in
"A flower is dead! A star has fallen! A bird
singing the richest and rarest melody has gone from
the groves of time. A woman, splendid and heroic
in all the better qualities of life, has closed her eyes
in death, and the voice which caught the highest sym-
phonies of nature has joined in the chorus of the
THE FAME SHE WON WAS REAL.
It was in the realm of high art. In every cul-
tured community, all over the music-loving world,
there were the sons and daughters of genius striving
for the high places. "Many, indeed, were called, but
few chosen." You can count on your fingers the truly
great singers of half a century. It was amongst this
number she resolved to stand. The prize was a shining
crown, and she determined to win it.
From the wreck of man's primal fall there have
been saved many hints of the Lost Paradise, which
was perfect beauty. Every manifestation of art is
but the expression of beauty; and the greatest artist
is the one who gives expression to the highest form
of the beautiful. In the mythology of Greece, the
highest of all arts was presided over by the Muses,
and hence is called music. The most cultured lovers
of beauty gave it a god, and built a temple for its
service. What is music? What is a note? A tone?
What is tune? A sonata? A symphony? What are
the properties, relations, and dependencies of sound?
What does the composer do when he writes music?
Does he simply produce a succession of sounds so
modulated as to please the ear? Does he simply ar-
range a combination of sounds in accordance or har-
mony? Or does he express ideas, tell a tale, write a
poem, or paint a picture in melody? She sought to
solve these questions and become a priestess in the
temple. She talked face to face with the oracle, she
did not linger in the portico, but passed swiftly along
MARIE LITTA ^7
the columned arches up into the chancel, and saluting
the white-robed ones close to the altar, unveiled its
mysteries and translated its glories by the matchless
sweetness of her marvelous voice. To accomplish
this required consciousness of genius, singleness of
I have been told that after two years of hard study
in Paris she went to London to commence her pro-
fessional career, but her debut was not such as to
satisfy either herself or her friends. Disappointed,
but not discouraged, she returned to her teachers to
take up again her life of daily toil. For two years
more she studied, trained, and labored. Thinking of
this incident in her life brings to memory the poetic
words of cheer, spoken by Thackeray, to the young
maiden to whom "love's young dream" had brought
the first heart-ache.
"Hop back, little bird, to your perch; it is some-
times better to be roosting than singing. The light
that awaked you was false dawn; anon will come the
morning, and the whole sky will be reddened with its
light. Then you shall soar up into it and salute the
sun with your music."
The morning did come for her, and the sky was
red with its light, when, in the great cities of the old
and new world, with magnificent surroundings, in the
presence of beauty and culture, in splendid temples of
art, she did "salute the sun with her music," and
was crowned by its loyal lovers the queen of song.
Any analysis of her character which ignored
HER LOVING AND KINDLY NATURE,
would be like taking away the rich coloring from a
beautiful picture. She was generous and charitable,
and kind. She shared everything she had with those
she loved. The first fruits of the harvest she laid with
thanksgiving upon the altar of filial affection. Even
the praise and admiration she won she sought to divide
with those who were dear to her. She spoke kindly
of all. She was mindful of favors and grateful for
kindnesses. She had no false pride. When the noon
had more than fulfilled the promise of the morning,
she was the same gentle, modest and winsome woman.
And so we have written on this monument :
"She was loved most for her pure and gentle life,
and loving hands weave roses with the laurel in the
chaplet of her fame."
HER LIFE WAS HEROIC.
We are all hero-worshippers. Heroism, more than
any other element in character, attracts the attention
and challenges the admiration of mankind. Often-
times a single act of heroic devotion to duty has won
for the actor immortality in that life which men call
fame. Ruth, the "queen of the harvest field," when
she said, "Whither thou goest I will go;" Leonidas,
at the pass of Thermopylae; Catherine Douglas, when
she interposed her white arm as a bolt between assas-
sins and her royal master ; Arnold Winkelried, gather-
ing Austrian spears into his own breast to "make way
for liberty;" Grace Darling, looking at death in every
foam-capped billow as she sped on her life-saving mis-
sion; Florence Nightingale, the "Angel of the Cri-
mea;" Mary Stephenson, in the fever-stricken city of
MARIE LITTA 69
Memphis ; Kate Shelly, a girl of fifteen years, rushing
through storm and darkness to save human life — these,
and thousands of other pictures of heroic devotion to
duty, appearing all along the shining pathway of hu-
man history, like stars framed in diamonds, we hang
in the halls of memory. They are our art treasures,
which we would not exchange for all the Madonnas
in the world. Such lives we embalm in romance,
poetry and song. We write them in school books, and
tell them to our children that they may come to ad-
mire and imitate the principles of devotion, of honor,
of self-sacrifice, of generosity, and of nobility. The
whole life of Marie von Eisner was heroic, and I
believe she laid it down as a loving sacrifice to duty.
HER LIFE WAS SHORT.
Many who hear me were men and women when
she was born, and it seems an age since she died.
But days and months are but poor meters with which
to measure a human life. The true question is: What
were its results? She always felt that she had a mis-
sion, and that she "must be about her Father's busi-
ness." She lost no time. She had no childhood. She
knew that "art was long," and worked while she could.
And who shall tell what good she did ? Who has kept
the history of the good impulses inspired by her songs ?
What record has been kept of the good resolves and
better aspirations she inspired? What was her part
in the grand advance toward the realization of a higher
and a more artistic life? And what prophet shall fore-
tell the influence of her example, as it circles through
the coming years?
She lived long enough and well enough to be wel-
corned to the first ranks o£ her profession. She lived
long enough to die universally regretted, and in pos-
session of a real and lasting fame. How few of the
millions of earth have done so much! There is no
occasion to mourn for her.
"Nay, grieve not for the dead, alone
Whose song has told their heart's sad story,
Weep for the voiceless who have known
The cross, without the crown, of glory."
Her life was no exception to the great law of com-
pensation. If she had her sorrows, she also had her
joys. If there was shadow, there was also the sun-
shine. If her way led through the valley, it also led
up to the mountain. If the flower is faded, surely it
will bloom again. If her sweet voice is no longer
heard by mortal ears, listening faith catches a sweeter
song as it floats out from the palm groves of the
"Beautiful City." This modest monument, erected by
loving hands, we dedicate to her memory. We have
chiseled some poor words upon it to mark our esti-
mation of her character.
We feel that she was of "Nature's own and most
cunning workmanship," and what we have done is
very inadequate. "In pitying admiration she lies en-
shrined in all our hearts in a far nobler mausoleum
than this one of marble." When we make pilgrimages
here it should be in the sunshine and with flowers,
cherishing more than a Jewish faith in this sweet gos-
pel of cheer and hope :
"When death strikes down the innocent and young,
from every fragile form which he sets the panting
spirit free, a hundred virtues rise in shapes of mercy,
charity, and love to walk the earth and bless it.
MARIE LITTA 71
"Of every tear that sorrowing mortals shed over
such green graves, some good is born, some gentler
"In the Destroyer's steps there spring up bright
creations that defy his power, and his dark path be-
comes a way of light to heaven."
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION AND CULTURE
This Address Was Delivered before the Young Ladies of St. Mary's
School at Knoxville, Illinois
Ladies: I wish to speak tonight of ''Ideahsm in
Education and Culture." This I think is a current
topic and I hope what I may say may not be inap-
propriate to this interesting occasion.
The cuhured American girl is, by all odds, the
most interesting, the most attractive, the most grace-
ful, the brightest, the best-mannered and the most win-
some girl in the world.
At sixteen she compares favorably with the French
girl of twenty or the English girl of twenty-five.
It is a great mistake to suppose that American
girls are sought after by titled Europeans only for
their money or their fathers money; it is very often
for themselves alone.
At the coronation of the late English king, thir-
teen American girls took their places, by legal right
in the ranks of English nobility.
The wife of Sir William Harcourt, the late leader
of the Liberal party, and one of the four men who
controlled the destinies of the English Empire, was
the daughter of the historian, John Lothrop Motley.
Miss Mary Endicott, an American girl without for-
tune, became the wife of Joseph Chamberlain, the
great English statesman, the Secretary for the Col-
onies, and the man who, for a time, exercised more
power than any other in the world.
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 73
Mary Leiter, a Chicago girl, as the wife of Lord
Curzon of Kedleston, was the vice-regal representative
of the Queen in India, and by her splendid talents and
character justified the choice of her distinguished hus-
When I was in Brussels, I was pleased to meet in
the wives of the English minister of the first and sec-
ond secretaries of legation, three American ladies, all
of whom came to their husbands as brides dowered
only by their beauty and accomplishments.
In France and in Italy I made the acquaintance of
American ladies holding high places in official and
court circles and who did not belong to that much
larger throng of American women who had exchanged
surplus millions for worthless titles of nobility.
I do not speak of that long list of parties to "les
mariages de convenance," who have no claim to praise
or respect; they do not illustrate my argument.
You will note I said the "cultured American girl,"
not the "educated American girl;" there is a vast dif-
ference between culture and education. The one in-
cludes the other but comprehends much more.
To the training which education gives to the fac-
ulties of the mind, the acquirement of knowledge and
the accimiulation of facts, culture super-adds refine-
ment of manners, the subjective study of the certi-
tudes of life, and the development of what is best in
Its fruitage is gentleness, kindness, unselfishness,
good taste, love of beauty and a conception of what is
best in the world.
Matthew Arnold says, "Culture is the acquainting
ourselves with the best that has been known and said
in the world, and thus, with the history of the human
I take it this means the training of the moral and
spiritual nature, the enshrining of higher ideals, and
a better understanding of the problems of life.
Education, in its true sense, includes not only the
imparting or acquisition of knowledge, but moral
training also. Yet it has come to be used in
a much narrower sense as furnishing such mental
training as fits a person for success in life, in the pro-
fession or business which may be selected.
We hear much in these days of the "higher edu-
cation of women."
I am not sure that I know exactly just what the
friends and advocates of this kind of education mean
by the term but I take it they mean that young women
should pursue such academic courses as will enable
them tO' compete with men in all the vocations and
enterprises of life possible, or which may become pos-
sible, to women.
They probably mean the training of the intellect
by forcing processes, an acquaintance with the physical
sciences, history, politics, civil government and every
thing that can be learned by man or woman by years
Young ladies are taught, especially and impres-
sively, that they must cultivate a spirit of independ-
ence, must depend on themselves and fit themselves to
fight the battles of life alone.
They are told that the prizes in the lottery are for
them as well as for men, that in the great enterprises
of this marvelous age they may engage, and hope to
win; that new avocations are open to women; that
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 75
every woman should have a mission, and assert her
individuaHty, live her own life, take her place in the
march of progress, and share in its glory.
These are some of the catch words or phrases of
the *'new philosophy." It is very fascinating, very ex-
citing and very enticing to youth, as it takes its first
views and forms its first judgments of the problems
When one begins to inquire seriously. What is this
life ? What am I to do with mine ? What are its duties
and obligations ? and what are its promises and prizes ?
And I do not wonder that one entering upon active
life at the beginning of this Twentieth Century should
wish to be an actor in its scenes, to witness its tri-
umphs, to feel the presence, realize the significance and
keep step in the march of this great transition period;
to see a beautiful country grow in a lifetime from
wilderness and prairie to garden and city; to see the
occult elements of nature kiss the hand of science and
crown with glory the genius of man.
High honor it will be, indeed, to witness and take
part in all these things.
Nevertheless, these catch words and phrases, as I
have called them, speak a false and poisonous philoso-
phy and appeal to a false ambition.
It tends to
In the last seventy-five years, objectively consid-
ered, the world has made marvelous progress in every-
thing material, in the invention of all kinds of tools
with which to manufacture, in the control of natural
forces, in the discovery of natural laws, in the applica-
tion of mechanical principles to new purposes and new
combinations, and in the increase of general intelli-
gence we recognize the march of the human mind to
heights never before attained.
Yet the conservative mind pauses in this wild prog-
ress to inquire if it is all good? if it is more than half
Civilization is the highest development of the in-
tellectual and moral nature; and civilization is per-
fected in exact proportion to the growth of intellec-
tual and moral culture.
No one doubts the general growth and spread of
intelligence. Has moral culture kept pace?
I am not speaking of religion, but of morals. I
am speaking of honesty, of unselfishness, of justice,
of the hatred of oppression, of the love of liberty, of
kindness, of sympathy, love of peace, hatred of war,
of philanthropy, and of individual and national con-
And I assert as to these things there has been no
progress in a thousand years; more than this, I assert
there has been retrogression.
The universal establishment of the competitive sys-
tem in commerce which drives the chariot wheels of
the strong over the bowed necks of the weak; the
grasping of more than princely fortunes in the hands
of the few by methods little less than criminal; the
unjust division of wealth, the universal greed for gold,
special legislation in the interest of power; the de-
cadence of the national conscience, which in the inter-
est of commercial prosperity and national expansion,
calls wrong right and justifies public robbery — are
some of the evidences of the truth of my assertion,
which no individual or accidental charity can refute.
Within the last quarter of a century Christian Eu-
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION n
rope has partitioned the continent of Africa. "Oriental
possessions" are paving the way (if only they can
agree among themselves as to the division of the
spoils), for additional robberies. The right to buy sov-
ereignty, to take by force, lands and revenues, to im-
pose government without consent is called "expansion'*
and the republic is justified in its conscience.
The republic which sympathized with Greece,
voted resolutions to encourage Poland, cheered Hun-
gary, and aided Ireland in their struggles for liberty,
refuses a word of sympathy to sister republics en-
gaged in the death struggle for national life, because
she is herself engaged in the most gigantic robbery of
What of all this? Nothing — except that it shows
the materialistic tendencies and character of the age;
and out of it and ministering to it is this educational
fallacy about which I am speaking.
It is worse because it applies to and effects the best
part of humanity.
Having spoken to you of its inciting cause, let me
now speak, delicately, as it appears to me, of its
What is the product? There are grades — conceded.
There are degrees — admitted. There are exceptions
— that is also admitted. But the average product is not
Masculine, loud-voiced, assertive, argumentative,
careless of dress, the woman who imbibes and whose
life is governed by these ideas loses interest in things
She becomes restless and dissatisfied with her en-
vironment; believes in a "mission;" seeks a "career."
She organizes clubs, conventions and assemblies;
studies parliamentary rules and learns to preside.
She becomes a politician and plays at holding cau-
cuses and conventions after the manner of men. She
may not neglect her home, but she loses interest in
it and becomes less interesting to the home.
She builds club houses (with her husband's
money), travels alone (or with others like minded) to
distant cities, to caucus, make speeches, organize and
She lectures, delivers addresses and debates; she
demands her rights, wishes to vote, to be manly and
independent. This is the effect on herself.
The effect upon men is to blunt their fine sense of
chivalry, to send them to the clubs and worse places.
There is a severance of joint interests, also of com-
radeship, a weakening of home ties, a restlessness, a
hopelessness, as the color fades from the flower and
life poems change to prose tales.
The effect upon the children and the generation to
come, some one wiser than I must tell. But there is
a more practical effect this spirit of independence is
producing upon entire communities.
Will you think for a minute of the industrial po-
sitions today filled by women to the entire or partial
exclusion of men.
1. Stenography — an art of recent growth; steno-
graphers and typewriters in every counting house and
office, numbered by the hundreds of thousands, all
filled by girls or women.
2. Clerks in stores are almost universally sales-
3. Out of 900,000 school teachers in the common
schools 90 per cent are women-
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 79
4. The immense number of domestic servants are
5. The great and important business of feeding
people in boarding-houses, cafes, dining-rooms — the
employes are all women — cooks, waitresses, and maids
of the chamber.
6. And if this is true of "what shall we eat?"
it is also true with "wherewithal shall be clothed" —
90 per cent women.
7. Time fails to tell of trained nursing, the vari-
ous kinds of clerkships, agencies and money-making
employments from which women have excluded the
8. And now they are knocking at the doors of
the professions, they invade lecture platforms, the
missionary fields; they have gained admission to the
medical and legal professions and are petitioning as-
semblies, conventions and conferences for admission
to the sacred ministry.
There is nothing much left for young men to do
except on the railroad and on the farm. The question
now is what will our girls do with our boys ? — 400,000
young men in the United States, between the ages of
twelve and twenty-three, out of employment.
Isn't it a little pathetic? And what can they do?
The professions are many times overcrowded ; the girls
have all the other places.
I would not be misunderstood. I find no fault
with any girl or woman when it is necessary to earn
money, who seeks and finds employment, and I honor
and respect her all the more and I rejoice with her
that so many avenues of industry are open to her.
I do find fault with the young woman who has
a natural protector in father, brother or husband, who
for the sake of a false sense of independence, unnec-
essarily seeks these, to her, unnatural employments.
And I do find fault with that system of education
that teaches a false notion of independence. Will you
think for a minute what must be the result of these
industrial conditions? When daughters, sisters and
wives cease to depend on fathers, brothers and hus-
bands and take their place as bread-winners. Then
what? Then natural conditions are exchanged — the
woman must support and the man must depend.
It means loss of manhood and the fading of the
bloom from womanhood.
These facts and conclusions will not seem exag-
gerated to the observer who has seen from day to day,
in the past years, boys and young men, in continually
increasing groups, standing idle all the day in all vil-
lages, towns and cities, and who has tried to answer
anxious inquiry of father and mother, "What can my
boy get to do?"
Now the grumbler should always be able to sug-
gest a remedy or a better way. It may not be much of
a way, but it should at least rise to the dignity of a
If I were an educator, I would not say to a boy,
'Tf you are a good boy, if you study hard, are indus-
trious and obedient you may become President of the
I would say to him, be ever so good, industrious
and obedient, the chances are 20,000,000 to one you
will not be the President, even of a railroad. But you
can be an honest, honorable man and a cultured gen-
tleman; this is within your power, not subject to a
I would not say to a young girl, if you study hard,
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION
if you improve your opportunities and attain the higher
education, there are a thousand avenues open to earn
your own way, to be independent, to assert your in-
dividuahty, to take part in great enterprises, to make a
name, to win fame and to enjoy the beating pulsations
which come to the winner of the prizes of life.
I would say to her, "You cannot do these things
and be justified in your conscience." I would teach her
that there is a loyal dependence on the love of a father,
brother or husband, sweeter and nobler than any per-
sonality ; that the sweetest and most winsome thing in
the world was womanly dependence upon, and faith
I would teach her that it is better to be queen of
the household than president of a convention; that to
be a cultured, gentle and loving woman is to be the
very best thing on earth.
That gentleness, kindness, sympathy and unselfish-
ness are better than jewels.
I would teach her that to beautify and cheer the
home with a kindly presence as a daughter, to be the
honored wife of an honorable man and the mother of
beautiful children, is the perfect fulfilling of all ob-
I would tell her to study "Mother Goose melodies"
instead of Jefferson's Manual, and that to preside at
her husband's tea table is higher honor than to pre-
side over a woman's congress.
There are those who are always wishing to ad-
We call these people "reformers." There are those
who want to think before acting and investigate before
agreeing. We call these people "conservatives." When
we are not very polite we call them "grumblers" or
Nevertheless the world of humanity will always
be divided into these two classes.
There are some people who believe that "two and
two makes four." This they seriously believe. They
consider it a proposition which cannot be successfully
contradicted. They would not go to the stake to
vindicate its truth because materialists are never mar-
tyrs; but they would feel personally aggrieved if any-
one should dispute the proposition, or fail to duly ap-
preciate its importance.
There are others who are not entirely convinced
that "two and two makes four;" they have never seri-
ously considered the question, they have never at-
tached so very much importance to the matter, and to
tell the truth they don't care very much; it wouldn't
make any great difference to them if "two and two"
should happen to make five.
To them, the consequence of this infraction of a
mathematical law would not be half so serious as a
variance in a curved line of beauty or the brushing
of the bloom from a single flower.
Between the two my sympathies are with the
"dreamer." If Matthew Arnold is right that culture
is to "learn the history of the human heart," we can
see how this subjective principle enters into every
phase of life and its study
THE STUDY OF HISTORY
let us take for example. What is the object of the
study of history ? "To learn what the human race has
done in the past." This is the answer of the material-
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 83
The idealist says : To produce culture we must
"know the history of the human heart" and, there-
fore, not only what the human race has done, but
what it has thought and believed and felt; what were
its emotions, ambitions and hopes; what were its as-
pirations, its imaginings, its loves and hates, its com-
edies and tragedies ; in all its varying stages of pro-
gress or retrogression.
And how and where are we to learn all these
things ? From the partial and doubtful records of bat-
tles won and lost?
In the lives of long lines of kings and military
heroes who have for the most part disgraced instead
of governing mankind? In the accounts of kingdoms
reared and torn down, of governments instituted and
destroyed? What do these things teach of the "his-
tory of the human heart ?"
Rather in poems, in love stories, in fragments of
song; in monuments, in sculptured stone; in mytholo-
gies and traditions ; in sagas and myths ; in the gods
who were worshipped and feared ; in the heroes deified
and debased, can we hope to trace from faint begin-
nings the evolution of a race from barbarism to the
higher planes of civilization.
And so, you see, it enters into the study of
What would the world literature be but for the un-
known geniuses who created the Persian, Grecian and
Roman mythologies? whose "gods hallowed the
heights," whose messengers of wisdom and queens of
love watched over the destinies of men; who peo-
pled spring and stream with Naiads; every tree and
leafy dell with Dryads and the air and water with
fairy and nymph !
As the divine teacher taught spiritual truths by
fable, parable and allegory, so we learn from this
cosmogony of gods and heroes what were the early
views of religion, what the early ideas respecting the
origin of things, of the powers of nature, the rise of
institutions, the history of races and communities, and
thus of "the history of the human heart."
What would the world's literature be without the
siege of Troy and the wanderings of Ulysses ?
Are the creations of Homer less real than those of
Are Ajax, Achilles and Priam less real than Alaric,
Genseric and Tamerlain?
Are Helen and Penelope less real and less lovable
than the Queen of Scots or Marie Antoinette?
The creations of genius move us strongly by the
chords and discords of our dreaming and so far as
they are true to human nature, we may weave from
these, mystic ideals, forms rare and real.
This subjective principle, or idealism, has its ef-
fects in the culture which comes from
It is very curious to observe what different things
different people see in visiting and observing the same
things, and what different things they desire to see
and observe in the same place.
Dr. Franklin observed that currents of electricity
in Paris differed curiously from those in Philadelphia.
Audubon observed that in Paris the pigeons pre-
ferred to fly north; Robert Fulton observed that the
Seine was narrower than the Hudson.
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION
Mr. Barnum thought the CoHseum would be a good
place for a circus, but observed it had no roof, which
would be bad in case of rain.
A young Catholic lady who traveled with Mrs.
Ewing and me in Italy said the thing she desired most
to see in Rome was the picture painted by the Virgin
Another American lady confided to me that she
"liked Rome because it was like New York." She
said it was true there were a good many old ruins
there yet, but she thought they would soon disappear
and the lots would be built up with fine houses.
Brussels is a city of 800,000 people and the most
artistic city in Europe.
The places visitors want most to see are the houses
in which the Duchess of Richmond gave the ball where
"Belgium's capital had gathered its beauty and its
chivalry," on the night before the battle of Waterloo,
so graphically described by Lord Byron.
And the little schoolhouse where Charlotte Bronte
taught her classes and wrote her love stories.
In Geneva the most interesting thing is the church
in which John Calvin preached, and the house in
which he wrote his "Institutes."
In Prague they show you, first of all, the church
of John Huss, who in Bohemia preached his reforma-
tion a hundred and fifty years before Luther was born.
In Edinburgh it is the old pulpit which John Knox
hammered as he hurled his anathemas against the
wicked Catholic queen.
The culture which comes from travel is to feel
the touch of humanity as you connect scenes with the
deeds of men who have lived and loved and suffered.
By imbibing the spirit and calling to memory what-
ever there may be of noble action, self-sacrifice or act
of heroism of those who have made the city famous.
This principle holds good in the study of the phys-
In the study of
for instance, it is not sufficient to learn of genera and
species, the various and complicated classifications of
trees, shrubs and plants, and commit to memory long
This is knowledge but it is not culture. A flower
considered with reference to the number of its stamens
and petals, the formation of its leaves and the bril-
liancy of its color, does not compare with the "glory
Let us take a very common illustration. Go into
the cornfield when it is in tassel and silk.
You have studied enough to know that unless the
pollen comes in contact with the seed there can be no
ripening or reproduction.
Ordinarily, the pollen is very near the seed and
just above it and there is little apparent difficulty in
their coming together.
But in this instance the flower is away above the
ear of corn, and, moreover, the grains are wrapped
about by thick layers of husks to safeguard and pro-
The problem is to bring the generating principle
in contact with each one of these golden grains.
Unwrap these husks and you will find embedded
in the crevices between the rows, strands of little silken
threads, each one attached to a single grain of corn,
all coming out of the end of the shuck encasement
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 87
and forming- a beautiful silken pendant to the growing
ear of corn.
Each one of these threads is hollow. When the
mating time is come the wind blows over the field;
little particles of golden dust are shaken from the
flower ; the air is laden with its golden glory ; these lit-
tle particles light on the end of those wonderful con-
ductors and are drawn by capillary attraction to the
waiting grain ; a million marriages take place ; the act
of germination is accomplished ; the seed is vivified and
capable of reproducing a thousand other of its kind.
This is a marvelous process. Henceforth the corn-
field is no longer common but "holy ground," for you
stand in the presence of a continually occurring mir-
Now "consider the lilies hozu they grow." Thus
"considered," we know that "Solomon in all his glory
could not be arrayed like one of these."
Let me take another illustration from the science of
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
It is not sufficient to learn the number of bones,
their location and names, the circulation of the blood,
the nerve centers ; the location, names and articula-
tions of the muscles, the offices of all and their con-
nections and relations.
You must go deeper. There is much beyond. This
is knowledge but not culture.
Let me take again a very simple and common in-
stance. A bone is broken. The surgeon places the
ends of the fractured bone in apposition, secures them
by proper bandages and splints. That is the extent of
his power. In a thousand years the most learned and
scientific of his profession could not cause a cure.
But nature has a laboratory into which no human
scientist can enter, a process of heahng absolutely-
Almost immediately there flows out from the lacer-
ated tissues surrounding the fracture a liquid which
washes away blood clots, impurities and particles of
In a few days there flows in and surrounds the
fractured ends a kind of lymph which allays the fever,
fills up all the interstices and lays the foundation for
In another few days this lymph changes to car-
tilage, then in another few days out into and through
this cartilagenous mass shoot little nerves and blood-
vessels, through which are transmitted, from the blood,
particles of ossific matter, which hardens into bone.
The union from cartilagenous becomes ossific.
Then again nature forms around and about the frac-
ture a band to hold the wounded parts in safety, which
again in its turn is absorbed and carried away by the
blood, leaving a smooth, sound, cured and perfect
Science stands abashed in the presence of such a
cure. It is wonderful, as all the works of God are
wonderful. In the working of the wonder is mani-
fest both intelligence and beneficence; and the heart
answers the inquiry of the Hebrew prophet. There
''is balm in Gilead; there is a physician there."
I have tried to show the influence of idealism in
producing culture, in the ordinary methods of edu-
cation, in the study of history, in literature and in the
But there is still outside of the books and beyond
the schools broad fields for study and rich oppor-
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION
tunities for culture. There are lessons which nature
teaches in all the languages.
There are problems of life to be solved more in-
tricate than differential or integral calculus.
The great book of the human heart is to be learned
chapter by chapter and page by page.
We may not all become post-graduates in these
studies, but we may learn much if only we pursue the
To these studies, also, the subjective methods are
Men and women create their own ideals. And it
is not paradoxical to say in turn their ideals shape
their own characters and views of life.
Our ideals sometimes become heroes and some-
We are all
and hero worship is not bad, if only we worship the
right kind of heroes.
Humanity is peculiar; it builds more monuments
to its butchers than to its benefactors. In the long,
dark history of the race the popular hero has been the
man who kills, rather than the man who heals.
We still have schools in which we educate to kill,
and teach the science of slaughter.
There is, and there can be, no such thing as a
military hero. To worship such is false idolatry.
We often, when our highest ideal is up in the
clouds, make unto ourselves golden calves, and often
they are not even of gold.
Our late war with Spain developed numbers of
false heroes for public worship. A naval officer sue-
ceeded in shooting- to pieces some rotten Spanish
ships ; the newspapers made him a hero.
His admirers presented him with a fine house,
which he immediately deeded to his recent and rich
wife. And his glory faded as a flower.
Another naval officer was supposed to fight another
great naval battle in which the remainder of the Span-
ish ships were destroyed. He became a hero.
Congress gave him a vote of thanks; the courts
awarded prize money; then it transpired that he was
not at the battle at all, and this idol was dethroned.
A young gentleman, still another naval officer,
undertook to sink a coal barge in the wrong place, and
did not succeed even in doing a wrong thing; still it
was a brave act and he became the hero of an hour.
Some young ladies kissed away his halo and his
monument fell, not, as I love to think, on account of
the kisses, but on account of the beanstalk nature of
A Kansas colonel captured the leader of the Fili-
pinos by strategy, it was said, and he became a hero
and came 8,000 miles to personally receive the grateful
praises of his countrymen.
It transpired again that this valiant hero had forged
letters, dressed American soldiers in the enemy's uni-
form and, while partaking of the enemy's hospitality,
shot down and murdered his guard, and made him
prisoner in violation of the rules of war and of the
most sacred rules of hospitality.
And now the most ardent lovers of war can find in
these transactions no elements of heroism.
Let us believe that the whole world is full of men
and women in high and low stations who sacrifice their
IDEALISM IN EDUCATION 91
pleasures, their comforts, their ambitions and their
lives to round out the lives of others.
We may never know their names, but in our hearts
we can build an altar to the "unknown hero."
And when we read or hear of some brave act, some
kind action, some unselfish devotion, some self-sacri-
fice, some thoughtful kindness, some duty heroically
performed, we can there bring our garlands of sym-
pathy and appreciation.
Against the materialism of the restless Marthas
who are "troubled about so many things," I would
oppose the idealism of Mary, who found her highest
spiritual beauty and her grandest ideals in the love
of the Master.
I speak not of your religious life; of those holy
relationships I may not enquire, but of that idealism
which will enable you to see clearly and like Mary
"choose the better part."
Not in high station, not in great wealth nor in the
praises of men, nor in the possession of power is to
be found the greatest good; nor are they the objects of
highest ambition — weigh them all over against the un-
selfish love of a single human being, against the con-
sciousness of some good deed well done, against a
pure life, against obligations fulfilled and duties per-
formed; and which are the certitudes of life?
From this idealism will come the charity which will
fill your life with good deeds and lay up for you treas-
ures incorruptible and enduring.
From it will come that kindness which will enshrine
your life in loving remembrance.
From it will come that love of nature in her gentler
moods ; which plants shade trees along the dusty high-
ways and fills the waste places with forms of grace
From it will come philanthropy (the rarest of all
the virtues) which seeks the highest good for the
generations to live hereafter on the earth.
And from it will come that unselfishness which
forgetful of benefits to self, seeks in good done for
others its crown of rejoicing.
The following argument was made in the case of
Caverly vs. Canfield, commenced in the January term,
1 88 1, in the Circuit Court of La Salle County, Illi-
nois, The trial commenced June 24, 1881, and lasted
twelve days. The case grew out of the following
facts : On May 10, 1880, a young lady residing in Ot-
tawa, 111., of good family, independent means, unex-
ceptional character and high social standing, was de-
livered of an illegitimate child, which lived but a few
hours. The event created more than the usual amount
of surprise, gossip and scandal. She claimed she was
never conscious of a wrong act, that a great wrong
had been done her while in a state of unconsciousness.
It was to prove this contention and vindicate herself
this suit was brought.
The lawyers for the plaintiff were Mr. Bull, of Ot-
tawa, Hon. A. E. Stevenson and myself; for the de-
fendant. Judge Leland and Hiram Gilbert. The argu-
ment following is by no means the best one made in
that unique case, but happened to be the only one taken
down by the stenographic reporter.
of the case was a verdict of $50,000 for the plaintiff.
The young lady remained for some years in Ottawa
and then removed to Chicago where she married a
reputable business man and is now the mother of two
daughters, highly reputed and cultured young ladies.
The defendat lost his practice, took to drink and in
less than a year died on the street in a fit of delirium
ARGUMENT BY MR. EWING
Gentlemen of the Jury :
Since I have been in your beautiful city, during the
progress of this remarkable trial I have been so en-
gaged with the preparation and prosecution of the case
that there has been little time to extend an acquaint-
ance which, I can but regret, is so limited. But, by
those whom I have met, my reception has been so
cordial and sincere that I have ceased to regard myself
as a stranger amongst you. From his Honor on the
bench, from the members of this bar, from gentlemen
of the press, and from yourselves, I have met with the
In opening the argument in this, the most remark-
able and interesting case I have ever known, I wish
to deal honestly with you. It is the province of coun-
sel to analyze the testimony and assist, by legitimate
suggestions, the jury in arriving at a proper conclu-
sion, and to decide properly the issue presented to
them. Anything more than this cometh of evil. And
I desire to state in the outset that many things which
I may say should be taken with many grains of allow-
ance. I am not a disinterested spectator of these pro-
ceedings. I have much more than the ordinary inter-
est of the lawyer in the result of this case. Pecuniary
reward and professional pride are dwarfed into insig-
nificance in the presence of a personal interest so in-
tense. Gentlemen, in the course of some twenty years'
practice at the bar, many times, in many ways I have
trembled, as I do now, when I realized the responsibili-
ties of my position, with such vast interests committed
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 95
to my keeping-. But I say to you today, in all truth-
fulness, that the sum of all the interest which I have
felt in all other cases does not -equal the intensity of
that which I now feel in the cause of this orphan girl.
For ten days you have listened to its details with a
kind attention I have never seen equalled. For this I
thank you. This young lady is much more to me than
a client, intimate and sacred as that relation is. I
have known her intimately from childhood. She has
been a visitor in my family. I know her sunshiny dis-
position; her superior intellectual qualities; her cul-
tured manners ; her generous nature ; her perfect purity
in word, act and thought. I know her orphaned and
lonely condition; I know how tenderly she has been
cared for in a virtuous and loving home. I know her
honored ancestry; I know her life's history all along
its pathway of shadow and sunshine, and hence more
than any one, except the plaintiff herself, I realize to
its fullest extent the infernal cruelty of the outrage
she has suffered. Therefore if, in seeking to picture
this case to you so that you may see it in all its pe-
culiar phases, I should seem to exaggerate, charge it
not against her or her cause.
I rejoice, gentlemen, that my client's cause is to be
submitted to such a jury, and I congratulate her that
it is so; I congratulate her that when you have ren-
dered your verdict you will not go upon the corners of
the streets, to the slums of the city, to the abodes of
vice, to render an account of your high trust in co-
teries, where the honor of man and the virtue of wo-
man are alike mythical. But I rejoice that you will
return to virtuous homes, to loving wives and
daughters, to the contemplation of that virtue which
sanctifies every Christian household. I say I rejoice
in this because I wish you to rise to the high plain of
a perfect faith in the innate purity of woman. There
are moral monstrosities who do not believe in the
honor of man or the virtue of woman, I envy them
not. I detest and loathe the sentiment which would
detract so much as a mite from the high estimate
placed by all honorable men upon that crown of a wo-
man's life which glorifies her womanhood.
Naturalists tell us of a small animal called the er-
mine. It is covered with a delicate white fur, which
is used to adorn and beautify the gowns of judges
who sit in the high places of justice, and the corona-
tion robes of kings. It is an emblem of purity. We
speak of the judicial ermine, to typify the incorrupti-
ble purity of justice. It is said that hunters entrap
these little animals by smearing the ground about
their homes with pitch and dirt, knowing they will
lie down and be taken, preferring to die rather than
defile themselves. So it is with every true woman.
And no man is fit to be an arbiter in this case who
does not bring to the discharge of his high duties an
abiding faith in the virtue of the mothers and
daughters of our home-blessed land. That life's mis-
fortunes, man's deceit, cruel want, or a thousand
causes growing out of a vicious life, have and will
forever create exceptional cases of female depravity,
we all admit and regret. But there is a royal virtue
implanted in the pure hearts of good women, which
shuns contact with vice; shrinks from whatever is un-
chaste and indelicate; avoids the very appearance of
evil; and blushes like a camelia at the impure touch
of passion. I say this to you because I intend to throw
into the scale which holds the fortunes of this plaintiff
this honorable sentiment. I intend to invoke it, as I
CAVERLY vs. CANEIELD 97
have a right to do in her case, and ask you to hesitate
before you decide, as the unthinking and uncharitable
have done, that a young lady delicately and tenderly
reared by a virtuous mother, graduating from the Sab-
bath school, breathing always the atmosphere of hon-
est home life, cheered by the example of cultured
loving friends, cherishing the proud memory of an
honored parentage,, having all her life, through child-
hood to mature womanhood, lived a blameless life,
without scandal and without reproach — that such a
one would, in mere wantonness of passion, throw away
the pearl of great price and make of her life a moral
Again, I wish you to rise to the dignity of this
great occasion. There never has been such a lawsuit
tried in this court. His Honor, who has adorned his
profession by a long and honorable service at the bar
and on the bench, never has tried, and probably never
will, another such. The inquiry it necessitates enters
into some of the most intricate and interesting prob-
lems of medical science, into the very mysteries of
the origin of life, into the laboratory of the chemist,
into the laws of circumstantial evidence, into the laws
of human motives and conduct. Involving in its
scope and range every emotion and passion, it lays
bare before you the innermost secrets of a human life,
with its cloud and sunshine, its- loves and hates, its
agony and rejoicing, its past disgrace and coming
I ask you as you go with me over the history of
this life, to bring with you your quickened intelli-
gence, all your human sjonpathy; all your love of jus-
tice and scorn of wrong; that manhood which detests
a cowardly act, and that chivalry which would throw
its strong arm around the defenseless. It will be a
pathway of sorrow such as wearied feet have seldom
trod. There will be something of sunshine; a few
flowery by-paths ; here and there a sweet resting place ;
but for the most part it will be over broken rocks,
with bleeding feet. There will be stations where I will
invite you to rest and look upon some pictures graphic-
ally drawn by the witnesses in this case, and doubtless
indelibly imprinted upon your memory. It will be a
profitable if not a pleasant journey, and we will re-
turn from it as men from a house of mourning, with
better hearts and purer aspirations.
You are told you must decide the case as you
would between two men! You cannot do it; simply
because it is not a case between two men. You are
not required, when you enter this court room, to leave
your human hearts at the doorway. There is no dan-
ger of erring through sympathy, because if tiie plaint-
ijff is the vile creature they claim she is, you can have
no sympathy with her or her cause. And, so on the
other hand, if she has been wronged, as we claim she
has been, kindness to her is a virtue, and human sym-
pathy is transmuted into eternal justice. I ask no ver-
dict at your hands through pity, prejudice, or passion.
We will not accept a verdict on such terms. We are
trying this case not only before this jury and this
court, but before this community; before the vast con-
course who come here from day to day to witness its
proceedings. A verdict which is not based upon in-
disputable evidence will do her no good. She seeks,
through this trial and your verdict, a vindication, full,
complete and perfect, in the eyes of the community
in which she has always lived; and it must have a
foundation as solid as the rock. For eieihteen months
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 99
the case of Fanny Caverly has been on trial — in the
newspapers, on the streets, at church meetings, in
saloons, and worse places. In none of these trials
has her voice been heard. The evidence has been ex
parte; the juries have been packed; there was no cross-
examination; she was allowed no counsel, and the
courts were organized to convict. But, thank God!
after weary, weary months of waiting, through dreary
days and sleepness nights, her cause is tried in a court
where her voice has been heard and where his voice
has been silent.^
WHO IS THE PLAINTIFF?
Gentlemen, I have said to you this is a remarkable
case. The plaintiff herself is no ordinary person.
Fanny L, Caverly was born in this city ; she has grown
to womanhood in the midst of this community. Up
to the day when the daily papers heralded to the world,
with cruel headlines, that little paragraph which caused
pain to so many loving hearts, her reputation was as
spotless as that of any maiden in the land. Up to that
moment the tongue of slander had spoken no word
of suspicion against her fair name. Moving in the
first circles of an elegant and cultured society, here
and in other cities, where she was always a welcome
guest in the purest homes, she was respected, ad-
mired and loved. The cruel shaft which struck her
down found indeed a shining mark. Her father died
when she was a child. She never knew that strong,
manly, fatherly love which would have been a shield
and buckler for her defense. God pity the orphaned
*The defendant, Campfield, did not testify in his own
condition of the girl who starts out upon her Hfe jour-
ney without companionship and protection! She was
too young to reahze this, and her great loss was in
many ways made up to her by the loving, tender, watch-
ful care of an idolized mother, who devoted her pure
and unselfish life to the education and care of her only
child. Most of us have been called, some time in
our lives, to stand in the presence of a great sorrow.
In the death of a friend, a father, a mother, a child,
we have felt the gloom settling down upon us, and
how lonely the world was. She stood by the grave of
her mother and heard the sound of the clods falling
upon the coffin lid, echoing the throb of a broken heart.
This was her second great sorrow. But time, the
great healer, deadened her pain, soothed her anguish
and brought to her "beauty for ashes and the oil of
joy for mourning," In the buoyancy of youth and
hope the world was clothed again with verdure. She
had scarcely laid away the garments of mourning
when death took from her her aged grandfather. This
was her third great sorrow.
Alfred W. Caverly was one of those great pioneer
lawyers to whom this great commonwealth owes so
much. The compeer of Lincoln, Douglas, Lockwood,
and Breese, he impressed his character upon his age
and generation. A man of strict integrity and com-
manding ability, he wrote his name upon the legisla-
tive and judicial history of his adopted state. He
lived to a ripe old age, and, spanning an age of medi-
ocrity, seemed to connect the intellectual glories of the
past with the coming glories of the future. In his
old age he took his orphaned grandchild to his bosom,
and this great love was the sunshine of his declining
day. Now she was almost alone in the world, only
C A VERLY vs. C ANEIELD i o i
the old grandmother who has stood by her so bravely
in these terrible days, and whose sad face you have
seen from day to day during this long trial. It does
seem there had been pressed into this young life suf-
ficient of sorrow. Will not some good angel turn
away the bitter cup?
Again the clouds cleared away and the sunshine
came into her heart. You have heard, from the testi-
mony, that for nearly three years, and until the 6th
day of August, 1879, an engagement of marriage ex-
isted between the plaintiff and Mr. Metcalfe. He was
a young lawyer residing in St. Louis; he came to
Ottawa bringing a letter of introduction to her grand-
mother from a mutual friend. In time he offered her
his hand in honorable marriage and was accepted. It
was the old story. There were happy meetings ; there
were walks by the rivef ; there were rides by moonlight ;
there were music and flowers ; there was the love-light
in the eye at that one time which comes to most men
and women, when heaven comes dovv^n near the earth.
Then there was the parting. I have told you that
her's was not an ordinary character. When she came
to believe, as she did believe, that there was not the
perfect love "which casteth out all fear" from a
woman's heart, in the splendor of a courage which has
won your respect and admiration, she tore this hope
from her heart and gave back the remnant of love, the
whole of which she felt she did not possess. And so
this dream was over, and she went back to the old life.
The sacrifice was made, and she was justified in her
This is strange talk in a court house, but we are
dealing with human passions, and a broken heart has
been laid bare before you. It is only through this
sacrificial offering her peace can come ; it is only in the
blood of a bleeding heart she can wash her robes and
make them white,
In May, according to her letter to Dr. Byford; in
March, according to her present memory; in April,
as her grandmother remembers (the date is not mate-
rial), she went to the defendant for treatment. He
was then, so far as the people knew, a reputable phy-
sician. He had attended her grandfather in his last ill-
ness. He treated her at home during the summer
months for what he told her was falling of the womb.
In August he suggested to her the propriety of com-
ing to his office for treatment. He said : "There were
all the conveniences for treatment; it would be much
more convenient for him; less expensive to her; that
she could come with perfect propriety." And why
should she not? I say it was perfectly proper. He
was a member of an honorable profession. This was
a guaranty to her that she was as safe from insult and
wrong as she would be in the presence of a priest and
under the solemn sanction of the confessional. At the
time of a visit made about the 25th of September he
gave her wine, as he said, to "quiet her nerves;" its
taste was peculiar ; but not unpleasant ; it was a sweet
and pungent taste; its effect was peculiar, as she now
remembers. A countryman came to the office just at
this moment and was rudely dismissed. She said to
the defendant, "Do I look cross-eyed?" He said, "I
think you are ready for the operating room." This is
all she remembers until she found herself in a dazed
condition, having undergone, as she supposed, the usual
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 103
treatment, but remembering nothing" of having been
unconscious. It had never been necessary to admin-
ister wine before. It was highly improper to admin-
ister it under the circumstances. We charge that the
defendant at that time took advantage of her helpless-
ness, and while in a state of insensibility, produced by
some hellish drug, without her consent or knowledge,
had sexual intercourse with her, which resulted in her
after pregnancy and the birth of her child. This
charge we have proven by an array of testimony which
left nothing for its completeness except the final silent
confession of the defendant himself. To the discus-
sion of that evidence I now invite your attention.
These wine treatments were repeated three times —
twice in October and once in November. What drug
was used we do not know. It is not material that we
should know. It is sufficient that we have shown to
you by the testimony of five reputable physicians that
there are various drugs known to medical science
which might have been used. Much has been said as
to the properties and effects of narcotics, intoxicants
and anaesthetics. You must form your own judgment
from the testimony. We have surmised that the drug
used was acetic ether. We find from books and from
experiments that it possesses all the properties and
produces the effects necessary.
First — It possesses about four times the intoxicat-
ing properties of alcohol.
Second — It excites the erotic or amatory passion
to a high degree.
Third — It remains from five to six minutes in solu-
tion with white wine.
Fourth — It produces insensibility rapidly, and its
effects pass away as rapidly.
We do not pretend to say this was the drug used.
It is sufficient that we have found a drug that might
have been used. From the last one of these treat-
ments, which was in November, she returned home
suffering so much that she determined to receive no
more. A few weeks afterward she so informed the
defendant, stating at the same time that she was going
to Bloomington and would take treatment from Dr.
White. Permit me, gentlemen, to call your attention
to the conduct of the defendant at that time. He was
excited; told her she should not go; she would rue it
if she went; and used language to her which she then
regarded as almost insulting; so much so that she felt
indignant and left the office.
Defendant's witnesses say he told her, "If she was
a married woman he could tell her what was the mat-
ter with her," etc. Plaintiff says she does not re-
member these words, but that he used language in-
tending to convey the same idea. Why did he object
to her going to Bloomington? How did he know in
November that she was pregnant ? How did he know ?
This was in November; her menses were regular in
August and September. It was less than two months
since the act of coition. No other living being knew
she was pregnant. She was as innocent of such knowl-
edge as a vestal virgin. Dr. White failed to discover
it in January ; Dr. Stout did not suspect it in February ;
Dr. Byford was not certain in March; Dr. Hathaway
pronounced her trouble a tumor on the 5th of April;
and not until the 15th of April did any one of all these
physicians discover the foetal circulation. But this
man knew it in November. There was the cessation
of the menstrual flow and the slight bloating which
might arise from a thousand causes consistent with a
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 105
pure life. And yet he knew she was pregnant. I sub-
mit to his learned counsel this question for their con-
sideration : Was it superior medical skill, or was it
superior knowledge of a cause? This significant fact
is susceptible of but one construction. He knew of
her pregnancy because of his guilty knowledge of the
SHE WENT TO BLOOMINGTON
You saw Mrs. Dr. White on the witness stand, and
in the court room sitting by the plaintiff. You saw
her daughter, who was also an important witness in
this case, and I need not tell you into what a home this
plaintiff went with her burden of shame. To the life-
long friend of her sainted mother; to the pure pres-
ence of her young companions ; to the scrutinizing gaze
of one of the ablest physicians of this or any other
state; to the familiar companionship of friends and
acquaintances ; to the criticising inquiry of strangers,
she went, I say, with her burden of shame. Not only
this, but she freely discussed her condition and invited
a medical exmination. Upon what possible hypothesis
can this conduct be explained, save that of innocence?
Think you, if she had been conscious of her real con-
dition, or of its possibility, she would have done this?
If she were the abandoned creature defendant's counsel
claim to believe her, she could not have done it.
Would she not have fled, like a guilty thing, across
continents and oceans rather? Would she not have
sought solitude and a home amongst strangers? Can
a sinner, bearing the scarlet letter of her burning sin,
stand unabashed in the presence of the angels of Para-
dise? Answer these questions out of your own hearts,
gentlemen. I saw her on that bright New Year's day,
beautiful as the morning, the sweetest, brightest, most
winsome face in all that bright and happy throng.
I said to her, "I wish you a happy New Year. From
my heart, my dear little friend, I wish you a happy
New Year." She seemed so bright, so full of enjoy-
ment, so happy. If I could for a moment have lifted the
veil which obscured the future, and have realized never
so slightly, the terrible agony and suffering through
which she must pass during the next four months;
if the scenes which you and I have heard so graphically
described could for one moment have passed in pano-
ramic pictures before me there, I would have wished
her dead at my feet. And it would have been a God's
mercy to her. Death is not the worst thing which can
come to a man or woman.
Let this New Year's scene linger in your memory.
It is the last one in all the long picture gallery which
has anything of sunshine in it.
The loth of February she returned to Ottawa.
The defendant was again consulted. He came to her
house, made an examination, and said he wanted coun-
sel ; would like to have Dr. Stout.
Defendant's counsel tell you that Dr. Stout is a
simple hearted, confiding sort of a man, full of faith,
and easily influenced and deceived. It may be so.
Either he has, in these nefarious transactions, been the
defendant's dupe or accomplice, and it suits our pur-
pose that you may consider him the one or the other.
They tell you "he was misled and deceived by this
young girl." If you are to believe what they say of
our client, how you must be filled with wonder at her
capabilities. Just think of it! Here is a young girl
who was never in a court room in her life before ; who
has absolutely conceived and carried to completion a
CAVERLY vs. C ANFIELD 1 07
deeply laid conspiracy, involving innumerable details,
extending to three cities, covering a great many times,
relating to many conversations with many persons,
asserting unusual scientific conclusions, weaving phys-
ical facts in the woof of human testimony, producing
a senseless garment of circumstantial evidences, in
which experienced legal acumen has failed to find a
rent. To carry out this conspiracy she has deceived
or suborned five of the first physicians of your city to
support her theory. She has not only deceived her
own counsel, but has dumfounded the defendant him-
self. Still, this you must believe if you believe she
deceived Dr. Stout. Gentlemen, Dr. Stout may have
been deceived, but not by her. He may be a dupe, but
he is the dupe of a man who induced him to do things
which no reputable physician would do, and to swear
to a fact which five reputable physicians tell you could
not exist. I have no hard words for this poor old
doctor; I care nothing for him. His testimony, con-
tradicted as it is, by himself, by other witnesses, and
by all the circumstances of this case, you can not be-
lieve! For the part he has played in shielding, or
trying to shield, this defendant from the consequences
of his crime, I leave to him the consciousness that
twelve men will say by their verdict they do not be-
lieve one word he has said ; that this whole community
despises him; that decent women will hereafter shun
him ; and that his insignificant name will, for the brief
remainder of his life, be joined in infamy with that
of this nefarious defendant.
THE ATTEMPTED ABORTION
Gentlemen, go with me in imagination to the home
of this plaintiff. It is the third day of March. The
defendant is there. Dr. Stout is there. The old grand-
mother is there. You have never witnessed such a
scene. The defendant removes his coat; the warm
water and the sponge have been prepared, and the poor
girl, as innocent as a lamb, is laid like a sacrificial
o£fering upon the couch. I can not describe what
followed. The defendant, with his arm about her
shoulder, and his ear to her person listening for the
first sign of the foetal life they were about to destroy;
how the sound was used to lacerate the tender mem-
branes; how they cut away a piece of her quivering
flesh to carry out their cruel deception; how the pro-
bang was introduced into the mouth of the womb to
make sure of their murderous work. How could they
do this cruel deed? Was there no pity? It would
seem to me a heart of stone would have melted. Why
did they do it?
Dr. Dyer, Dr. McArthur, Dr. Hathaway, Dr.
Hard, and Dr. Curtis, all tell you that the "natural
effect of these instrumentalities would be to produce
an abortion ;" that there could be but one purpose sub-
served. What was their object? The act they at-
tempted under the laws of Illinois was a felony. In
the lower walks of the medical profession are found
those who, for great reward, will take the risks of
infanticide; but there is not a recorded instance of
such an attempt without the request of the patient or
any of her friends. And they did it. Why? Why?
is the still recurring question. I will tell you why they
did it. The man who could perpetrate the first infamy
would not hesitate at a less crime to shield himself. If
he succeeded in killing the child, the mother would,
for her self -protection, carry the secret to the grave.
If, in murdering the child, they killed the mother
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 109
also, the mother, the babe, and the secret would be
buried in a common grave. Again her innocence pro-
tected her and another of the guilty indices of crime
points to the defendant. And you see, gentlemen of
the jury, how one by one these proofs of guilt are
linking themselves into a chain, which no logic, no
legal ingenuity, and no perjury can break. Let us
pass on to the fifteenth of April.
Dr. Dyer has described, in language, a scene which
neither you nor I will ever forget. I saw the tears
come to your eyes when he told you of this scene:
"I went with Dr. Hathaway at the request of the
plaintiff to make an examination and consult as to
her condition. She met me with a cheerful smile and
laughingly said : 'Doctor I am getting alarmed at my
condition; just see how large I am; I am determined
to know what is the matter with me if it takes all the
doctors in the city.' We made the examination; I
almost immediately discovered the foetal circulation,
and told her what was the matter. She said, 'Oh ! no,
you are mistaken ; that's what Byford said ;' but I con-
vinced her, and then I never witnessed such a scene.
It has been my business for thirty years to stand by
death-beds, and I have witnessed many scenes of sor-
row, but never such agony as this. She was perfectly
raving ; she called on God to witness that she was inno-
cent. She said : 'Oh ! my Heavenly Father ! what
have I done that this should come upon me!' " Gen-
tlemen, you will live many years before you can for-
get this language; it will burn itself into your mem-
ories and you cannot forget it if you would. It was
on that terrible fifteenth of April when she knew for
the first time her condition. Then the iron entered into
her soul. Hitherto she had suffered much, such as few
of the daughters of earth have ever suffered ; but then
mingled with her sufferings was nothing which comes
of disgrace. Poignant grief and almost every depth
of mental agony she had known, but hitherto no
shadow of shame had fallen across her pathway.
Physical suffering she had borne as other delicate
women have done oftentimes before; but, who, like
her, in history, fiction, or song, have you ever known,
who has been called to bear the burden of another's
sin ? And in such a way ? Oh ! gentlemen, your tears
are no disgrace to you; they are the evidence of a
noble manhood and do you honor.
of her child on the tenth day of May brings us to an-
other scene of agony. How swiftly they follow one
" So disasters come not singly ;
But as if they watched and waited,
Scanning one another's motions,
When the first descends, the others
Follow, follow, gathering flockwise.
Round their victim sick and wounded,
First a shadow, then a sorrow.
Till the air is dark with anguish."
On that dark, dreary, rainy Saturday night, all
through its sleepless hours in her sick chamber this
young girl lay waiting, waiting for the morning,
which to her could bring no joy; the very heavens
weeping for the sorrow which no tears could soothe.
Most of you have stood by the bedside of a loved wife,
in that supreme hour of martyrdom, when, for the
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 1 1
first time she feels the agony of birth, and you remem-
ber how you wanted to take her in your strong arms
and suffer for her some of that agony. To any woman
who goes down to the very verge of death to give
another Hfe, there is pain and suffering such as man
never feels; and this, too, when she knows the morn-
ing will come with the joy of motherhood. But think
of her about to become a mother and not yet a wife!
Add to the combined agonies of death and birth the
anguish of shame and disgrace, and you can realize,
to some slight extent, the fearful darkness of the
waters through which she has passed. I told you she
had suffered as few had suffered in this life. She has,
indeed, walked through the furnace seven times
heated ; but, thank God ! the Angel of Innocence was
by her side, and there is not the smell of fire upon her
garments ! In the light of the perfect vindication of
herself from fault, v/hat reparation can these Chris-
tian ladies make to her for the desertion of an unfor-
tunate sister? What will the church do? What will
the Minister of Christ who refused to visit this father-
less girl in her affliction, do? What will those honor-
able gentlemen, who for eighteen months have stared
at her and insulted her upon the streets, do? I will
tell you what they ought to do; they should make
haste to get down on their knees and ask her pardon ;
they should uncover their heads in respectful rever-
ence when she passes; they should seek to redress the
wrong they have done to one, the hem of whose gar-
ments they are not worthy to touch.
Let me call your attention to the evidence of Dr.
Dyer as to the declaration of the plaintiff on the fif-
teenth of April. He says, when she had become some-
what calmer, he asked her who could have so wronged
her. She said: "There never had been the oppor-
tunity to any man, except it might be Dr. Canfield,
when he administered wine to me in his office," and
this same story, without variableness or shadow of
turning, she has maintained ever since, asserting it at
all times, in all places, and under all circumstances.
Do you remember the testimony of Dr. Hathaway as
to what she said just before the birth of the child?
He said to her, between those terrible spasms of pain
he so graphically described: "Fanny! women some-
times die in this sickness, tell me who is the father of
this child?" and then in the very shadow of death and
under the solemn sanction of its presence, she called
God to witness that the only one who could have done
her this wrong was the defendant. Gentlemen, in all
lands, and under every codes of law, ante-mortem
statements have been received in Courts as crowned
with the sanction of an oath. Fortunately for it, for-
tunately for her, and for all, death claimed this little
waif in a few hours, and she was left alone with her
misery and shame.
Alone in the world; something she must do, but
what? You cannot properly try this case unless you
put yourself in her place. The first thing she did was
a wrong thing; she realizes it now; realized it soon.
The advice she received was bad advice; it was not
disinterested advice; it was given in his interest, not
hers. Dr. Stout was her physician. He told her,
"Nobody knew it; she could save her good name."
"Get up, paint her face, go out and visit the neigh-
bors." "Give the lie to any report and all would be
well." She followed his advice as Eve followed the
advice of the serpent in the Garden; as confiding
women have followed bad advice in all ages; and
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 1 3
came to grief as all men and women will do who de-
part from the straight path. She admits her error.
She tells you that in the deepness of her distress she
was willing to shield him in order to save herself.
Before you condemn her as her good christian neigh-
bors did, I say again, "Put yourself in her place."
Much has been said to you about the sin of lying; and
these learned legal gentlemen who do not hesitate to
denounce and insult this poor defenseless orphan girl
in your presence, and to play the blackguard for the
amusement of blear-eyed debauchees, deliver to her
their hypocritical homilies on the beauties of truthful-
ness. Let us see about this thing of
Is every untruth a lie? Is an untruth told with
the intent to deceive, but not injure, a lie? Then
every Christian mother who for two thousand years
has told her child of Santa Claus, and how he brings
gifts to good children, is a liar. Why, the entire sci-
ence of war is founded on the art of deceiving; it is
one form of self-defence; that divine law which comes
down from God and impresses itself upon all animate
nature. Is an untruth never justified? If you meet a
friend and say, "How well you are looking," when
you know he is not looking well at all ; if you say to a
fleshy man you are growing thinner ; or to a thin man
you are growing fat, is it a lie ? Would you exchange
all the little complimentary untruths which hurt no-
body and make people feel pleasant, for that "get-to-
heaven" truthfulness, which would destroy all society
in twenty-four hours? These are questions in meta-
physics, in morals, and manners, which may or may
not be profitable for you to solve. I commend them to
the prayerful consideration of defendant's counsel as
they say their prayers to-night. But what of all this?
Because out of this conduct of the plaintiff has come
the great impeachment. To these ladies whose little
wounded vanity is soothed by coming into court to
impeach her character for veracity, I felt like saying,
"Which of you is without sin ?" They all agree, how-
ever, that up to the time when she attempted to de-
ceive them, her reputation was pure and spotless. I
pass by this attempt to add insult to injury. This jury
will say by their verdict she is worthy of all belief,
and these ladies will live to regret that they have in
any way laid one straw upon the burden she has borne,
in the interest of a man whom they will hereafter shun
as they would a pestilence.
She made no mistake the second time she deter-
mined to vindicate her character. If it had been your
daughter or your sister there would have been no
trial. The unwritten law of the land justifies the aven-
ger of his daughter's disgrace, and holds the outraged
husband guiltless who takes the life of the despoiler
of his honor. But she was an orphan girl, and she
determined to seek that temple which, in theory at
least, is always open to the orphan. The people of
this country are now erecting a magnificent temple of
justice, which will stand for many generations as a
memorial of their appreciation of a government of
law — that law which protects the property, the reputa-
tion, the liberty, and the life of the humblest citizen.
For a thousand years, wherever the English language
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 1 5
is spoken, orphans have been the wards of the Court.
She sent for Esquire Fisher, who had been a friend
of her grandfather; had been a Justice of the Peace.
She supposed he knew whatever was worth knowing
of the law, and that he would advise her as to her
rights. Rights she knew she had. Wronged she
knew she had been. Innocent she knew she was. That
the law would furnish her a remedy she believed. You .
will pardon her impatience when she found this old
ignoramus was not only an old Dogberry in his igno-
rance, but insulted her in her helplessness. "Better
let it drop! There is but one way; the natural way!
The defendant will deny it, and nobody will believe
you !" Well, old Dogberry was just this far mistaken.
The defendant didn't deny it, and everybody believes
her. And now, the vicious old curmudgeon comes
into court and swears against the orphan grandchild
of his life-long friend, with a growl and a snap that
would be worthy of a toothless old dog. She was not
discouraged, and was more fortunate in her next ef-
fort. She found a man to advise her whose advice was
worth something. This suit was commenced by my
associate, Mr. Bull, and with sleepless diligence and
untiring purpose, with wonderful ability and undoubt-
ing faith in its justness, he has prepared it for trial.
And I say to you he can never do anything that will
forfeit the respect and gratitude I feel towards him
for his efforts in her behalf. There has never been
one moment when this plaintiff faltered in her perfect
faith in the result of this suit. No obstacles have been
sufficient to create a doubt. She has waited and
watched for this day, when she could tell her story
and compel a hearing. She has not shrunk from any
necessary thing, but with a courage as sublime as was
ever shown on a battle field, she has laid bare her whole
heart to you. Compelled to talk of things the most
delicate, of relationship the most sacred, she has not
hesitated. It was necessary to her perfect vindica-
tion, and she has had the courage to do it. She was
on that witness stand for eight mortal hours; she
underwent a cross-examination which for length and
persistency I have never heard equalled. And, gen-
tlemen, you never heard and never will hear another
such witness. Never in a court before, she was calm,
self-possessed, earnest, accurate in all details, explain-
ing everything, never hesitating for one instant, reply-
ing to defendant's counsel just as willingly, pleasantly,
and politely as to us; never crossing herself; using
language perfectly elegant and chaste, and with such
perfect truthfulness that she forced conviction into
every heart. You heard her story. You looked into
her beautiful face and saw the signet which the Al-
mighty has set upon truth, and you believed. Her
case has not rested upon her own testimony, but has
been corroborated in every particular by witness after
witness, by circumstances and physical facts, until it
has culminated into a perfect demonstration.
THE BLACK FLAG
We were met in the outset of this case with the
most remarkable statement I have ever heard in a
court of justice. The gentleman who opened the case
for the defendant stated to you that "this was a
case in which they would grant no mercy; in which
they would neither grant quarter nor ask for it." In
the course of a somewhat varied law practice, extend-
ing over a period of more than twenty years, it has
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 1 7
been my fortune to try, or assist in the trial of, some
important causes — causes involving large amounts of
property; involving reputation, liberty, and even hu-
man life. I have heard hardened criminals tried for
infamous crimes, but I never before heard it said,
"that no mercy would be shown ; that no quarter would
be granted." Who has authorized him to hang out
the black flag? Why, gentlemen, in all honorable
warfare, amongst all honorable men, the white flag is
recognized as a signal for a cessation of hostilities.
The savage Modoc of the lava beds will not strike a
foe under a flag of truce. It is only the assassin and the
pirate who nail the black flag to the mast and murder
their victims while crying for quarter. Whence orig-
inated this sentiment? Not from the senior counsel
for defendant. His long and honorable service as a
representative of justice forbids us to believe it. Not
from his mild blue-eyed associate; "as mild a man-
nered man as ever scuttled ship or cut a throat." It
emanated from the man who has shown her no mercy.
Well, be it so ! In the name of this orphan girl I take
up this gage of battle and say to him :
" Walk blindfold on ! Behind thee stalks the heads-
Lose not a trick — by this same hour to-morrow
Thou shalt have France, or I thy head!"
We understand well the character of this foe; we
understand well the nature of this contest. It is war
to the knife; and the knife to the hilt. One or the
other of these parties must go down. It is a sharp
issue. Either she will go out of this court vindicated
in the eyes of this community, or he will triumph and
she will go into exile. Either he will be completely
vindicated or we will hang a scarlet letter about his
neck, and write on his office door the words of Dante :
"Let her who enters here leave hope behind."
WHAT IS THE DEFENSE
to this action? Absolutely nothing! Whatever there
was of confidence in their cause in the opening, has
given place to desperation. All there is left of their
valorous defense, so confidently proclaimed, is the be-
lief that, like the blind Samson, with locks shorn and
strength departed, they may pull down the pillars of
the temple upon their enemies. Do you recall how
sneeringly the learned counsel spoke of the absurdity
of a woman becoming pregnant while in a state of
unconsciousness? How he told you very irreverently,
as I then thought, that for eighteen hundred years
there had been but one instance of immaculate concep-
tion. And yet what have you seen and heard ? That
self-same gentleman rising in his place and saying to
us and the Court, "It is unnecessary to introduce any
more evidence upon that point ; we concede it !" When
they find the books are full of such cases; when they
find case after case reported ; when doctor after doctor
comes upon the witness stand and testifies to you that
generation is the result of physical contact; that the
will or consciousness has nothing whatever to do with
it, they concede what has been so abundantly proven,
and say, "You need not introduce more witnesses ; we
But if they cannot defeat her suit, they can at
least blacken her character. She is followed by spies
and informers; every little innocent act or speech is
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 19
distorted and twisted into a semblance of sin. Every-
thing- that money and mahce could do against her has
been done. From the stone quarry to the home of the
harlot, the defendant's feet have been swift on the
track of perjured testimony, and witnesses have come
flocking to his call. There was Barbara Ellen Mor-
gan with her wonderful lie. Did you observe her?
What a figure to throw into the witness box ! Did you
ever hear such a voice? Did you notice her graceful
manner as she was escorted to the witness stand by the
Honorable Judge? The arrangement of drapery was
superb. Did you notice the sweetness of her voice and
the beauty of her manner while answering the cross-
examination of my friend, Mr. Bull? It was evident
they were not congenial. Did you wonder how old
she was? Had she a father or a mother? Had she
ever loved? Gentlemen, I will not insult your intelli-
gence or sense of decency by alluding to the sickening
lie with which she polluted this court room and your
presence, and stained still deeper her vicious soul with
perjury. I will, as defendant's counsel have done, in
charity, cover it with a veil of silence. Before her tale
was half told she was self-impeached and self-con-
victed, and it needed not the impeaching witnesses
from Utica and Ottawa to tell of her life of shame
and crime to cover her with disgrace and infamy. I
can by no words of mine add to the contempt and
loathing you feel for her. But what shall be said of
the mian who conceived this monstrous lie, and brought
this miserable creature into your presence to poison
with her polluting breath the atmosphere of a court of
Then came the young man from the stone quarry,
who told you a pretty tale of a walk by the riverside,
and what he saw. He was discharged from the stone
quarry on the fifth of August. This he knew from a
memorandum. It was five days after this he saw the
plaintiff and Mr. Metcalfe; in about a week after this
he saw them again riding out. Now Metcalfe left
here on the eighth of August, just two days before this
fellow pretends to have seen them, and so this self-
confessed spy and sneak, with his little lie, only half
sworn to, goes down.
And what shall we say of Griffith, the shoemaker,
who ran a booth at the fair in September ? He swears
that returning one beautiful moonlight night, in Sep-
tember, from his duties at the fair ground, at eleven
o'clock in the night time, he saw, or thought he saw,
the plaintiff and Metcalfe "sitting on a stile." But
Metcalfe wasn't there after the eighth of August, and
the plaintiff was entertaining the young ladies who
were visiting her during the fair; and so this liar
makes his exit.
Then comes Mrs. Nettie Nash, the irate neighbor,
who confesses that she had for four long years car-
ried locked up in the innermost recesses of her heart
the blood-curdling and heart-harrowing secret of what
she had witnessed with her own eyes, to-wit : that the
plaintiff had been seen four years ago, at nine o'clock
in the morning, on the porch of her own house, sitting
on the lap of one Dr. Waters. Gentlemen, I have
read of a man who had committed a terrible murder,
and with his guilty secret locked in his breast he wan-
dered over the entire earth seeking to separate himself
from it. But in vain; for everywhere he went it was
always present. In every moaning wind he heard the
voice of the murdered man, and in every foam-capped
billow of the sea he saw the face of his victim. But
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD
compare, if you can, such a secret with the one with
which for four long years this witness burdened her
soul until at last it found utterance, and she found
relief on the witness stand. It is true that during all
these years she had continued to visit the plaintiff and
to receive her visits — never considered herself scandal-
ized by the friendly companionship; and after all it
wasn't true, for the doctor came all the way from
Chicago to tell you that the plaintiff did not set on his
lap at nine o'clock in the morning on the porch, nor at
any other time or place. He tells you also that he had
known the plaintiff from childhood; that they had
grown up together; that the families had been on the
most intimate terms; that her conduct towards him
had at all times been the most dehcate and lady-like.
The plaintiff also denies in most explicit terms the
reflection upon her modesty of demeanor. And so,
according to every rule of evidence, this witness, who
confesses that she was acting the spy over her neigh-
bor's house, must take her place with the other less
respectable witnesses who precede and succeed her.
Then there was the clerk at the news stand, who
saw the plaintiff and Metcalfe walking on the street
together at eleven o'clock at night. It turns out that
they had been to the theatre and were walking home.
This young man may not be a liar, but he is swift to
distort facts in the interest of falsehood, and is but a
shade of a shadow better than a liar. Then there was
Gibson, who tells you how he was once invited to a
party; that the plaintiff was there; that the night was
warm; that the yard was lighted up with Chinese
lanterns ; that most of the guests were out doors ; that
the plaintiff sat in a hammock with another young
lady and gentleman, who turns out to be our modest
friend, Dr. Lester Strawn, and the other young lady
his sister. Great God! gentlemen, can such things
be and not "overcome us like a summer cloud?" What
a step f rom^Barbara to Gibson !
I now introduce you, gentlemen of the jury, to
the superannuated old dressmaker, with her chalky face
and 'little nighty." With her, marriage is neither a
reminiscence nor an aspiration; waxing old in years;
without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity. Look-
ing back through the long vista of time, she recalled
the recollection of some fond dream of the past, gets
it confused with some saying of the plaintiff, and
comes with her little offering of slander against the
young lady, who for fifteen years had been her kind
patron. She "thought it was a foolish little thing at
the time," and although the age of Methuselah is past,
she may live long enough to realize how foolish and
wicked it was to come here and testify to a "foolish
little thing," which, if true, had no materiality to this
case, and could only result in wounding the feelings of
one who had never injured her, but from whom she
had received many kindnesses.
This ends the first chapter, and do you not see,
gentlemen, how, all along this dusty road, where pas-
sion and malice have reared eternal discord, the Angel
of the Lord has camped around about His child?
How, from Barbara Morgan, with her monstrous big
lie, down to Tarbor Sansburg, with her foolish little
lie, they have fallen into the pit which they have them-
selves digged? Have you not seen, in every instance,
how some facts or circumstances have appeared to give
the lie to these officious slanderers? Truth is con-
sistent. Things that are true stand together, and this
plaintiff, strong in her truthfulness, has not feared
CAVERLY vs. C ANFIELD 1 2 3
what might be said about her conduct. This effort at
special impeachment has. as signally failed as did the
effort to impeach her general reputation for truth and
veracity. They have alike shown the harmless malice
of this defense. There is no other foundation for an
impeachment than what she has freely confessed be-
fore you. She did attempt to deceive in order to pro-
tect her good name, and most grievously hath she paid
the penalty. But who shall rebuke her? Who shall
cast the first stone at her ? Surely not the defendant !
You could not appreciate a sermon on the ninth com-
mandment from him. Talk of Satan rebuking sin!
Did he not cruelly wrong and deceive her when he
professed to be an honorable member of an honorable
profession ? Did he not cruelly wrong and deceive her
when he told her she could come to his office with pro-
priety? Did he not cruelly wrong and deceive her
when he cut and lacerated her quivering flesh to carry
out another cruel deceit? Did he not cruelly wrong
and deceive her, when he, by fraud and false repre-
sentations, induced her to write a letter to Dr. Byford,
and then added to his other crime the contemptible
crimie of larceny? And yet this miserable wretch,
whose life has been a living lie — who is, himself, the
incarnation of deceit and fraud — presumes, through
his feed attorneys, to lecture the plaintiff on the "ex-
ceeding sinfulness of sin." A lecture on any of the
virtues comes with a bad grace from such a source.
What else is there of this defense? We are told
that her letter to Dr. Byford contradicts her own
sworn statement as to dates. In order to understand
and construe any written instrument we must under-
stand first the intention and object of the writer.
What was the object of this letter? To get informa-
tion. Information of what? Of her condition. Re-
member she was not suffering from the old trouble.
It was not about that; she desired medical advice.
She knew all about that. That was a local trouble,
and had been cured. The visits with reference to that
trouble and the treatment she had received were not
present to her mind. What she wanted information
about was the stopping of her menses and the bloating
of her person, and it was concerning these things she
was trying to recall her symptoms. Remember this
letter was written at the dictation of the defendant.
True, she mentions a treatment in May, but she men-
tions that, as she tells you, at the particular suggestion
of the defendant. She was asked "if her memory was
better now than when she wrote that letter," and she
said it was, and when asked to explain how that could
be, she replied, "I have not thought of anything else."
Was not this perfectly consistent? Memory is but
the power to revivify and recreate impressions once
made upon the mind. There is a theory in mental
philosophy that no impression ever made upon the
mind is entirely effaced; that nothing is entirely for-
gotten; but that memory will, if sufficiently exerted,
recreate and renew the picture. This may be, to some
extent, fanciful, but we all know the rejuvenating
power of recollection. Have you ever tried to recall
the lines of a poem or a hymn which has almost faded
from your memory? It may have been a little poem
learned in childhood, or a love song which you have
not had occasion to repeat in years. When you first
made the effort you could scarce repeat a line, but by
repeated efforts of memory you recalled first a word,
then a line, then a couplet, then a verse, until the entire
poem glowed in your memory as fresh and beautiful
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 125
as when you first learned it. This is the revivifying
and recreating power of memory. It is wonderful;
as all the qualities of the human mind are wonderful ;
as all of God's works are wonderful. She had dwelt
upon every little incident of these strange events.
Through weary sleepless nights and joyless days they
burned themselves into her memory. They were pres-
ent in every troubled dream and waking thought, until
they came to be a part of memory itself. And so,
when you come to understand these things, you no
longer wonder that her memory is better now than
when she wrote the Byford letter. They are welcome
to any comfort they get from a mistake in dates. This
lawsuit will not be determined by a mistake in dates.
But what will the defendant say as to his connec-
tion with this Byford letter? What explanation has
he given you? Why did he procure it to be written?
Why did he request it sent to him? When it was
written why did he not send it to Byford as he had
promised to do ? Why did he, in violation of the most
sacred confidence, show it on the streets to whosoever
would listen to his lying slanders? Why did he com-
mit the crime of larceny in order to hedge against a
criminal charge which had not been made against him,
and of which he had not been suspected? These are
questions more interesting to you than questions of
dates. This transaction is one of the indices of crime,
pointing with unerring finger to the guilty criminal
who "flees when no man pursues." When he has sat-
isfactorily explained his lying and cowardly conduct
in connection with this letter, it will be time enough for
him and his counsel to complain of mistakes in dates.
What further is there of this remarkable defense?
With a chivalry which would have honored a Knight
of the Round Table, defendant's counsel taunt this
plaintiff with what he is pleased to assert as a fact;
that she has been deserted by her friends, and especially
the respectable ladies of Ottawa. Why, he asks : "Is
it necessary for her to go to other cities for friends to
sit by her side during this trial? Where," continued
the orator, "are the lady friends she once had?
Where is the minister of her church and his wife, and
the other good, respectable ladies who have so often
visited her home and partaken of her hospitality?"
And so this defendant, as a defense, through his coun-
sel, taunts her with the result of his infernal rascality.
"She has been deserted, and therefore she is guilty and
he is innocent." This is the sublime argument. She
has been deserted — cruelly and senselessly deserted.
It was natural, as the world goes, that women should
desert her. It has been, and probably always will be
so. Two persons commit the crime of adultery. The
woman must bear the bitter fruits of indiscretion in
her own person. She may be the least guilty, she may
not be guilty at all, but henceforth she is an outcast.
Her wedding garment is taken away and her sisters
preserve their own respectability by abusing her. For
him there are no words of reproach. He is received
into society, introduced to wives and daughters, and
left free to select another victim.
This is man's justice. It is because it is so; it is
because of this desertion we brought this suit. It is
to regain these lost friends — such of them as are worth
regaining — that we appeal to the law ; it is because the
priest and the Levite pass by on the other side; it is
because the preacher refuses to visit her in her deep
distress that we would restore her to respectability, so
that his pure priestly robes may not be soiled by her
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 127
presence; so that he can, without fear of losing his
respectabiHty, obey his Divine Master's injunction "to
visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction;"
it was because we wished to show by evidence, "strong
as proofs of holy writ," that all these misfortunes had
come upon her without any fault of hers, and this
desertion had been causeless and wicked; it was be-
cause we wished to show this community was harbor-
ing a fiend in human shape, compared with whose pres-
ence a pestilence is a benediction; it was because we
desired to prove to these respectable Christian ladies,
who have so uncharitably misjudged their sister; that
they have done so in the interest of a thief, a liar, a
suspected murderer, a despoiler of female honor, and a
miserable coward, who shrunk from an examination
into his crime-stained record; it is because we desired
to bar their doors against a man in whose presence
neither their own nor their daughters' honor is safe
for a moment; that we have brought this suit. Yes,
she was deserted, and that by friends who had received
nothing but kindness from her. But we are not ask-
ing any additional damages on account of this loss.
She will try to bear it, as she has greater afflictions,
with pious resignation. One of the rewards of a life
of sorrow is the building up of a strong character
which can correctly estimate the motives and value of
human friendship. "Night brings out the stars." She
will exchange some colored glass for real jewels. They
will be less in number but of greater value.
But where is the real defense to this action? Did
the defendant do what we say he did? All that has
gone before does not rise to the dignity of an attempt
at a defense. There has been an attempt made to con-
nect Mr. Metcalfe with this case, and this attempt
creates the necessity of an examination into the foetal
age of the child at birth.
To this point much of the testimony has been di-
rected. The importance of this inquiry will readily
suggest itself to you. There is no pretense that any
other person is in any way connected with this plain-
tiff. After the breaking of her engagement with Mr.
Metcalfe, as was very natural, other young gentle-
men, knowing nothing of this fact, did not visit her, at
least intimately. Bear in mind, from the 8th of
August to the 28th of September was short. Her life
during that period has been open to investigation. If
any one was in any way connected with her during
those six weeks, the spies and informers of this de-
fendant would have found his home and pronounced
his name. But they have breathed the name of no one.
So it is again a single issue. Metcalfe left Ottawa on
the 8th day of August, and this plaintiff never saw
him until she saw him to-day on the witness stand.
The child was born on the loth day of May, 1880,
making a period of 227 days.
It was a seven-months' child. What are the evi-
1, Mrs. Cavarly, Fanny, and another swear to a
physical fact, which, if true, makes it absolutely true
that it could not have been older. And no one dis-
putes this fact.
2. Dr. Dyer and Dr. Hathaway testify to certain
physical indications, which they discovered before the
birth of the child, which all the medical testimony in
the case assures you are infallible indications of the
foetal age of an unborn child; and these facts, if true,
show conclusively the child was a seven-months' child
at birth. Nobody contradicts this testimony.
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 129
3. Dr. Hathaway and Mrs. Cavarly testify as to
physical indications of age after birth.
(a) It was twelve inches in length.
(b) It weighed three pounds.
(c) Papillary membrane was just commencing to
(d) Finger nails were but partially grown.
(e) The bones of the head were open and flexible.
(f) Life feeble and languishing; and all the other
indications of a seven-months' child.
4. The positive testimony of Mr. Metcalfe and
the plaintiff. And who contradicts or questions this
array of proof? Dr. Stout! He says it was a nine-
But he is directly contradicted by Mrs. Cavarly, the
plaintiff, and Dr. Hathaway, to whom he stated at the
time of the birth that the child was a seven-months'
child; by Dr. Dyer, to whom he stated within a few
days after its birth that it was a seven-months' child ;
by Dr. Hard, to whom he made the same statement ; by
his criminal connection with the defendant either as
his dupe or accomplice. And yet it is insisted that
this one witness, who changes his statements as soon
as he learns their significance, is to weigh down wit-
ness after witness, circumstance after circumstance,
and physical fact after physical fact. And upon the
sole testimony of this contradicted and impeached wit-
ness hangs every hope of this defense.
As to the main fact upon which our case is based
there is absolutely no evidence for the defense.
The defendant does not deny the statement of the
plaintiff. He does not dare to deny it, for it was
God's truth, and the doors of the penitentiary were
opening to receive him if he denied it. Why did he
not go upon the witness stand and deny that he had
been guilty of the charge we make? He knew whether
she was telHng the truth or not. He is the only living
human being, except the plaintiff, who does know with
He could have told you, and he did not. He could
have explained, and he did not. He could have pro-
nounced her testimony false, and he did not. He could
have said, "I am not guilty of this great transgres-
sion," and he did not. He could have denied she was
at his office when she says she was, and he did not.
He could have denied that he attempted the crime of
infanticide, and he did not. He could have denied that
he administered to her the infernal drug we say he
did, and he did not. He could have denied that he
committed larceny to shield himself from the conse-
quences of a greater crime, and he did not. These
sins of omission must be visited upon him.
Why, gentlemen, I want you to consider the brazen
impudence of this defendant and what he asks of you.
You have sworn that you would try this case ac-
cording to the evidence. You are acting under the
solemn sanction of an oath. You are responsible to
God and your own conscience for your action in this
case. Now he asks you under your oaths, to say zvJtat
he dared not say under his oath; to do for him what he
dared not do for himself. You may be induced to do
this, but I do not believe it.
Here sat the defendant within six feet of the wit-
ness stand. The law gives him the right to testify in
his own behalf. He did not see fit to do it. Why did
he not dO' it? It was a confession of guilt and you
will take it as such. What explanation is vouchsafed
by his counsel? The gentlemen do not agree. We are
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 1 3 1
told by the one that the "defendant has a contempt for
this plaintiff and her case," and that he was acting
under their advice in not testifying. This was very
satisfactory until you heard the other counsel rise and
explain. He tells us the defendant refused to go upon
the stand against his advice, and this is followed by
the most remarkable statement I ever heard in a court.
Judge Leland says his client would not testify because
plaintiff's counsel had been looking up his record;
that they would ask him "if he did not murder his
wife. If he did not commit another murder in Phila-
delphia. If he was not living tmder an assumed
name. If he did not commit a similar outrage upon
another orphan and friendless girl — giving names, and
places, and dates." And then he stated that "every
household has its skeleton." What a statement for a
counsel to make about his client! These gentlemen
should have had a consultation. When statements do
not agree they are in a bad fix. They are required to
apologize for introducing the witness, Barbara, and
for not introducing their client.
Gentlemen, what would you think of this plaintiff,
if after having brought this suit, she had refused to
testify to the facts she charged in her declaration? If
she sat mute, and confessed by her silence that the
charge was an infamous fabrication? I ask for him
the same even-handed justice you would have meted
out to her, under the same circumstances. I do not
accept either explanation. Suppose one of you was
charged with the commission of an infamous crime —
a crime which, if proven upon you, would render you
infamous for life; would destroy your business; dis-
grace your wife and children, and close the door of
every virtuous household against you. Suppose you
were innocent of this charge. Suppose, farther, you
had an opportunity to deny it under oath. Suppose,
farther, that your salvation depended upon your testi-
fying. Would you do it? I will risk this case upon
the decision of this question. He did not swear, be-
cause he did not dare do it. I believe he would have
committed perjury. I believe him to have committed
greater crimes, but I believe him to be a base coward
who does not dare to face the consequences of his
crimes. If he has a contempt for this plaintiff, what
must be the contempt you feel for him !
Now, gentlemen, I've said all that I desire to say ;
you have listened to me with the kindest attention. I
thank you for myself, but much more for this orphan
girl whose cause I have so imperfectly presented. You
will not visit upon her any of my imperfections. She
has spoken for herself much more eloquently than I
have or can speak for her. The defendant has also
been eloquent in his silence. A great change has come
over the public sentiment of this community. The
gentleman tells you he has a contempt for this
"crowd." Since when? He expressed no contempt
for this same "crowd" when in the commencement of
this trial it cheered his indelicate and brutal assault
upon the plaintiff. But he has seen, as you have, the
tear in the eye of sympathy. He has seen the "hand-
writing on the wall" — hence his contempt. But you
have no such contempt for the plaintiff or her cause.
She is worthy of all honor, and her cause is the cause
of outraged innocence. Into your kind keeping I com-
mit everything dear to her without a fear of the result.
In her name; in the name of Innocence, wherever
it may be; in the name of your own wives, daughters,
and sisters ; in the name of her sainted mother, whose
CAVERLY vs. CANFIELD 133
invisible presence I believe hallows this scene, I ask you
for a full, perfect, and complete vindication of my
The morning cometh, and the night of her sorrow
shall be swallowed up in the light of a perfect day.
Her sun, which rose through clouds in the morning,
and was obscured at noonday, shall have a cloudless
setting. She shall go from this temple out of the
clouds into the sunshine; she shall walk the streets
like a queen, and there shall not be, in all this beautiful
city, a true man who has heard of this case, or who
shall hereafter hear of it, who will not resent even a
look which threatens her with insult.
Pantagraph Ptg. & Sta. Co.